The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

NJ Youth Dies: Cause Undetermined

In South Brunswick, NJ, a seventeen-year-old boy died at a basketball game. The AP reports that he was on the sidelines of a Crossroads Middle School game when he collapsed. Even though CPR was performed on him and then a defibrillator was used, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

As much as we would like things to make sense, to have someone to blame, as of now, it does not appear that anyone is at fault or that a PA personal injury attorney is needed.

In a wrongful death, personal injury case, there would need to be a person who caused the accident to occur. If a player was tripped by an opponent and injured, then the family could sue that boy for triggering whatever caused the young man's death.

It does not seem that anyone caused the boy to collapse. He was on the sidelines and not participating in the game, which may clear any of the other players from an accidental injury.

In a wrongful death suit, when a sport is involved, another person to look at could be the coach. If he pushed his athletes too hard or ignored their injuries, he could be found at fault. A coach can be in charge of a player's welfare, so a poor dicision could have gone agaist what a "reasonable person" would have done.

But, none of these examples seem to apply to this incident. Sadly, the boy just collapsed, and in these types of cases, where no one seems to have caused it, there usually is a medical condition.

The last resort in a sports case would be to have a question the victim's doctor to see if whatever caused his death could have been detected and treated. If the doctor had misdiagnosed or completely missed the cause, then the family could sue for medical malpractice and wrongful death. If the doctor's negligence let it occur, then he could be found at fault.