In a story that was reported just last week, there was a dual tragedy when two high school students died after collapsing from heat exhaustion during football practice. Apparently, one of the students had been hospitalized for heat exhaustion the year before his death; the other had been urged by his coaches to continue running drills after he had collapsed.


In truth, the facts reported from this story do not provide sufficient detail to make an intelligent determination as to the likelihood of success on the school negligence claims for either student, for we don't know what measures, if any, the school had in place to assure the players were properly hydrated, nor do we know what the school knew about each student's medical history (or whether the school even asked).


Furthermore, we don't know what symptoms the students exhibited that could - or should - have put the school on notice that there was a health hazard, and what measures, if any, the school took to address them.


That said, given the notoriety over the past few years in the press of stories regarding professional football players who died from similar issues during training camp, it certainly stands to reason that a jury could find that the school was on constructive notice, i.e., knew or should have known, of the hazards inherent in practicing in this heat, and the precautions needed to avoid this particular type of incident - let alone two of them.


For additional information on this important topic, please see "How to Prove Your School Negligence Case Under New York Law."

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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