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Judge Says Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against UCF Over Football Player’s Fatal Collapse Can Proceed

A judge has rejected a request by the University of Central Florida to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Ereck Plancher. The 19-year-old UCF wide receiver died after collapsing during practice drills in March 2008. His parents, Giselle and Enoch Plancher, sued the school and its athletic association for wrongful death. According to one news source, the plaintiffs are claiming that the school, the association, and coaching and training staffers were negligent for failing to notify the college football player that he tested positive for a sickle sell trait that can result in death from exhaustion. School officials, however, say that they did tell the 19-year-old about his condition and they had been monitoring him. Plancher’s parents have accused coaches and trainers of ignoring the dizziness, exhaustion, breathing problems, and other symptoms of severe exhaustion that their son experienced during the off-season conditioning workout that turned fatal for him. Attorneys for the defense argued that because Plancher signed waivers relieving UCF of liability for medical conditions, the school and association cannot be sued. The judge, however, disagreed. Now, there is news of another another possible Florida wrongful death lawsuit involving an athlete victim. Triathlete Dorothy Barnett-Griffin died after participating in the 2007 Ford Ironman Florida. Barnett-Griffin, 43, never regained consciousness after passing out during the swim portion of the triathlon in the Gulf of Mexico. The medical examiner’s office determined her cause of death was a brain injury resulting from not enough oxygen. During Ironman competitions, participants are expected to swim 2.4 miles, run 26.2 miles, and bike 112 miles. About 2,200 people take part in this rigorous race. In 2006, Bernard Rice, a 35-year-old Ironman participant, died after suffering a heart attack while swimming during the Ironman race. The Florida wrongful death lawyer for this lawsuit accused organizers of insufficient staffing and providing inadequate medical equipment. If your son or daughter died while participating in an athletic or recreational event and you believe that death was caused or could have been prevented if only the parties overseeing, organizing, or supervising the activity did not act negligently, carelessly, or recklessly, you may have grounds for filing a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. Related Web Resources: 2009 Florida Statutes Ironman Florida

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