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Player's death award slashed

Although we generally think of wrongful death cases in terms of motor vehicle collisions and rollovers, a variety of other fatal accidents can lead to such a civil suit. Parents of a Florida athlete who died during football workouts at the University of Central Florida plan to appeal a recent ruling that reduced their financial award. The family had filed a wrongful death suit against the university after the student's 2008 demise.

Official reports show the financial award in the case has been dropped from $10 million to a paltry $200,000. The implications of this ruling are serious, as they could affect the way such cases are handled by universities in the future. A jury had decided for the family in 2011, but the university and associated organizations appealed that ruling, arguing that the judge had taken unfair action against their attorneys.

Even though the judge in the most recent appeal overturned the jury verdict on a technicality, she admitted that she was concerned about the treatment of players at the university. Not only did the staff's actions contribute to the player's death, but coaches prohibited others from rendering aid.

The student's parents filed the civil suit after alleging negligence on the part of the UCF athletics staff. Trainers and other professionals reportedly failed to follow university procedures when the young man died from complications related to his sickle-cell trait. Officials at the university argued the young man had signed a waiver protecting the football program from liability, and therefore, the school should be subject to liability protection under state law. Judgments against certain public agencies are limited in the state of Florida in other to safeguard taxpayers' money.

Attorneys in the case say the state should provide better legal guidance concerning organizations' immunity from certain types of lawsuits.

If your relative has died because of someone else's negligence, consider seeking assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney. These professionals can help you get the money you need and deserve in the wake of such a tragedy.

Source: www.orlandosentinel.com, "Ereck Plancher's family will appeal ruling slashing UCF damages" Iliana Limon Romero, Aug. 16, 2013

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