Last Friday, De’Antre Turman, a 16 year old student at Creekside High School in Fulton County, Georgia died from neck injuries which he sustained during a football scrimmage. Turman, an 11th grader set to graduate in 2015, was a star high school football player who had recently been awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
Based on observers’ accounts, Turman’s injuries occurred during a routine tackle. Glenn Ford, the football player’s off season coach, was watching from the sidelines when the accident occurred. He later told WSBTV that Turman’s body suddenly went limp and that he fell to the ground.
A report issued by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office stated that Turman’s cause of death was a fractured third vertebra, commonly referred to as a broken neck.
In 2009, another Georgia high school student lost his life as a result of football related injuries. Roy White was a running back for the Cook High School football team in Cook County, Georgia. He was killed as a result of an impact to his chest from a tackle during football practice.
Football injuries called result in death, but also paralysis of the extremities and the lungs.
According to a statement by Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, these two accidents are the only football related fatalities that have occurred within the state over the past decade. However, in addition to death, football accidents can also lead to serious injuries. Dr. Daniel Sciubba, who serves as an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, explains that injuries to the third vertebra, such as the one experienced by Turman, can also result in paralysis of the arms and the lungs.
Some injuries are caused by negligence on the part of school administrators.
Sometimes football injuries leading to paralysis occur due to inadequate supervision by school staff and administrators, or because of defects in protective equipment. For instance, in 2007 a high school senior in New York was left paralyzed from the waist down after fracturing a vertebra during a football scrimmage. The student filed a lawsuit against the jurisdiction’s Department of Education, the Parks Department and the Public Schools Athletic League alleging that his injuries were caused by inadequate and improper supervision, improper training, and a lack of sufficient medical personnel at the game. The lawsuit settled out of court for $8 million.
If your loved one has been killed or injured in a school sporting accident, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can review the circumstances of your loved ones accident and determine whether someone else’s negligence was responsible for your loved ones injuries. If so, an attorney can help you seek damages in order to compensate you and your loved one for the losses you sustained.