We often hear about student football players suffering heat-related injuries and illnesses during their late summer practices. However, runners, although they don’t have the heavy uniforms and padding, are also at risk of succumbing to the heat.
One young man, who had been on the cross country team at Louisville’s Saint Xavier High School, is suing the Catholic school for negligence that he claims led to his heatstroke and subsequent hospitalization.
The teen, who graduated this year from “St. X,” fell unconscious during practice in July 2017 at a Louisville park. Doctors at the hospital where he was transported placed him in a medically induced coma.
According to the law firm representing the former St. X student, who graduated this spring, the plaintiff is claiming “carelessness on the part of St. X in having its student-athletes run 12 miles during a cross-country practice on one of the hottest days of last year without taking adequate precautions.” The heat index in Louisville the previous day had reached 107 degrees.
The firm added that the young man, who went on to finish fifth this spring in a state track and field competition, “wants what happened to him to never happen to another student-athlete…”
The suit claims that St. X “failed to adequately supervise, screen, test, monitor, and treat the student runners for heat-related injuries and illness.” It also accuses the all-boys’ school of negligence “in hiring, training, educating, and supervising its coaches and coaching staff.”
The two head coaches are not included as defendants in the suit, which seeks compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future earnings and other damages including mental and emotional distress.
Kentucky parents place a significant amount of trust in schools and coaching staffs to look after the safety and health of their student-athletes. When they fail to live up to their responsibilities, and young people suffer injuries or illness as a result, they have a right to hold them accountable and to seek the compensation they need and deserve.