Another lacrosse player has died from lacrosse injuries. According to various news reports, a 12 year old boy from Brighton, NY died this week, after taking a hit in the chest. He is not the first Rochester area citizen to die from a lacrosse injury.
According to democratandchronicle.com, about 10 years ago, a young man from Rochester died after being struck in the chest with a lacrosse ball/puck. Coincidentally, the incident happened right here in Philadelphia. That young man was in Philadelphia for a lacrosse game when the incident happened and later died at a local Philadelphia area hospital.
The same article cited a 2009 Pediatrics study which found that from 1980 to 2008, over 20 players suffered death or cardiac arrest and about half of those players had been hit in the chest.
One of the first questions any parent asks when their child is seriously injured or killed in a sporting accident is whether they could have done anything differently. Most of the time, the answer is no – there was nothing the parent could have done to prevent the accident from happening.
Yet, depending on the facts, other people or businesses could be liable for the accident.
For example, we commonly see situations where manufacturers of “protective gear” are held liable in a products liability case.
We also see situations where a sports facility, club or organization is liable for failing to provide proper safety equipment, failing to provide proper medical equipment or for failing to warn about the need for proper safety equipment.
In the recent case of the 12 year old who was killed, there may have been defective chest protective gear or lack of a heart protector. It’s possible the sports club he belonged to failed to warn his parents of the need for these safeguards.
Whatever the case may be, it’s pretty clear that being hit in the chest is a common lacrosse injury and that it can lead to heart failure. So, it’s up to product manufacturers, sports organizations and coaches to make sure that kids who play lacrosse are warned and protected.
For more information about sporting accident law in Pennsylvania, access our free article on Liability of Other Players in Sporting Accidents in Pennsyvlania.