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Broward Faces Lawsuit Over Football Player’s Death

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Isaiah Laurencin & Angela Roberts (Source: Family Photo)

Isaiah Laurencin & Angela Roberts (Source: Family Photo)

Michele-Gillen-600x450 Michele Gillen
Michele Gillen is chief investigative reporter at WFOR-TV, Mi...
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MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – A year ago, Isaiah Laurencin was practicing for a spot on the Miramar High School football team. Suddenly, he collapsed during conditioning drills and died. Now, as his mother mourns, she blames the school system and thinks they should pay for the death of her son.

“He always make me laugh so I miss that, I miss that from him. He would come and hug me and say mom you know I love you,” says Angela Roberts. She is sad and searching for answers.

“That was his passion, to be a pro football player one day,” she recalled.

The medical examiner ruled the manner of  death of the 286 pound guard last july was “natural”. The report points to multiple health issues including Cardiac arrest during physical exertion due to sickle cell trait.

That’s not acceptable to the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump.

“The NFL NCAA have more guidelines, more protections to protect adults than high schools have to protect children,” said Crump.

He said the Broward County school district needs to be held responsible for Laurencin’s death which he claims was due to heat exhaustion. Monday, Crump announced his filing of an intention to sue, which formally notifies the school district of his claim that “the school employees, coaches and personal were negligently hired, trained and and supervised,” He indicates it not unique problem.

“How often were they letting them get water? Because my son had water he had gatorade,” said his mom. “So how often were they letting him drink water? How often were they letting him take breaks? So that’s my question.”

Might some young athletes be more at risk for problems on the field?  Studies show that most of the deaths linked to sports involved…”complications related to the sickle cell trait”, which Laurencin reportedly carried, “heatstroke”, which reports indicate he  suffered one year before when playing on the field and or an undiagnosed cardiac problem.

In Laurencin’s case, according to the autopsy report, the role of  other factors, such as  possibility of dehydration “remains but is speculative.”

Should these factors somehow be considered before allowing students on the field? For one mother the answer is yes…but she says it comes too late for her.

“We’re coping but he’s  always going to be be missed. There’s a big void,” shared his mom.

A spokesperson for the Broward School Board said it doesn’t comment on pending or current legal action.

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