Parents who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their son’s high school coaches for his heat exhaustion death were given some powerful ammunition today: a Kentucky high school football coach was charged with reckless homicide in connection with the death.
The charges here are a little stronger than in Jason Street’s frivolous lawsuit against Coach Taylor in NBC’s Friday Night Lights for failure to teach him how to properly tackle. The player’s body temperature reached 107 degrees and he was denied medical care or water for more than 20 minutes on a very hot day. In other words, a death that reasonably could have been avoided.
The Kentucky prosecutor made an interesting, if flawed, analogy of the coach’s conduct:
The best example I can give you is like someone shooting into a building not knowing anyone is in there, then killing somebody. They didn’t know they were in there, but they should have known that shooting into a building where people normally are is something dangerous.
That is not exactly it. But I get what the lawyer is saying. The coach may not have known the extent to which he was putting the boy at risk, but any reason person should have known that he was risking serious injury with his macho “suck it up” routine, which far more common 20 years ago.
You can find the CNN article on the case here.