Young athletes are often pushed to the brink of exhaustion during practices, games, and training in the off-season. A lot is demanded of them by their coaches, trainers, and teammates, all whom are counting on them to win championships. Yet, these teams are also tasked with keeping their athletes safe, which includes identifying potentially life-threatening conditions ahead of time. When they fail to do so, they can – and should – be held responsible. Two recent wrongful death lawsuits highlight the growing problem of team responsibility and athlete safety.
The NCAA Faces Recent Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is facing a wrongful death suit after a young college football player died of cardiac arrest at the end of a practice session. The lawsuit was filed in Monmouth County, New Jersey on April 18th and seeks damages from both the school and the NCAA for negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
Michael Mazza was attending a two-hour practice at Mount Ida College in February 2016 when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. The practice was supervised by the school’s athletic director and the team’s assistant coach. His death coincided with the publication of a multidisciplinary task force report calling for better cardiac screening of athletes, as well as improvement in the way cardiac arrests are treated.
NBA Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When promising guard Zeke Upshaw suffered cardiac arrest in the final game of the 2017-2018 season, the world lost a talented player. Now, the family of Upshaw has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, Drive, and the DeltaPlex for the negligence they believe played a role in his death.
In order to win their case, they will need to prove that the organizations had a duty to have necessary medical staff on the premises who could’ve saved his life. Sadly, the team’s doctor was not available when Upshaw went into cardiac arrest. Insult to injury is that no one on the team offered him assistance for a full four minutes.
Sports Organizations Have a Responsibility
Sports teams and organizations have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their players. This includes performing better cardiac screenings, making sure a medical professional is present at all practices and team activities, and having a defibrillator at every venue. Even if a player has never exhibited signs of cardiac health problems, all teams have a responsibility to offer emergency medical assistance quickly and promptly to try and mitigate the damages. When they fail to protect their players, they should be held liable for their negligence, as well as the pain and suffering they have caused.
Call Our Compassionate New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, it is important to know that the law is on your side. The New Jersey wrongful death lawyers at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. will meet with you to discuss your case, and explore all of your legal options. While no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of a loved one, we can help ease the financial burden of their loss. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today at (856) 502-1655 to schedule your free initial case evaluation.