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Suit: Heat at Soccer Practice Almost Killed HS Player

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Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE - A Monticello High School student has filed a lawsuit against two members of the Albemarle County school's staff, saying he almost died at a summer soccer practice last year.

According to the lawsuit, the student, Patrick Clancy, had his health put at risk by the defendants - Monticello High's athletic director, Matthew Pearman, and boys soccer coach Stuart Pierson.

The lawsuit requests $1 million in compensation, as well as an additional $1 million in compensation for a count of gross negligence.

The suit claims Clancy, then a sophomore, suffered heatstroke on July 21, 2017, at a two-hour soccer practice designed to help athletes become acclimated to the heat.

At 8 a.m. that day, the air temperature in the Charlottesville area, including around the high school, was already above 80 degrees, and humidity was approximately 70 percent. There was little wind, and it was sunny.

At the beginning of the practice, the National Weather Service heat index was approximately 83 degrees, the lawsuit says.

Adding in the effect of synthetic turf and full sun, the weather service's heat index would have been 107 to 120 degrees.

By the end of the practice at 10 a.m., the temperature had risen and the weather service's full sun heat index on a synthetic turf field would have been 124 to 139 degrees, a level characterized by the weather service as "extreme danger."

After Clancy returned home that day, his mother noticed that he could not perspire and got him into a cold shower, where his fingers turned blue, according to the suit. He was later taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed as having exertional heatstroke.

A news release from attorney Lloyd Snook, who is representing Clancy, said several "well-established" practice guidelines were not followed.

"There was no trainer present. There was no cold water present. There was no shade to get the boys out of the heat. The team took no rest breaks," he said in the news release.

The lawsuit claims that negligence on the part of the defendants caused Clancy to suffer serious and permanent injury.

The Albemarle school system did not provide comment on the lawsuit. No hearing date in the case has been set.

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October 30, 2018
 
 
 

 

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