Dad Blames School for Son’s Death

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CN) – A high school football player died of injuries he suffered in a tackling drill, the boy’s father claims in Bergen County Court. The father claims his son would still be alive had the school exercised a “reasonable degree of care when supervising its student athletes.”

     Oscar Sanchez sued Cliffside Park High School, its principal, head coach, and athletics director, on behalf of his late son, Douglas Adan Morales. Sanchez also sued Schutt Athletic Sales Co., claiming it provided helmet and shoulder pads “below the standards of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment Association.”
     Sanchez says his son died from injuries he suffered in a tackling drill on Aug. 26, 2008. He claims that the school “failed to teach proper tackling techniques” or to “penalize players for engaging in improper contact.”
     The dad claims that the coaching staff created a “mismatch situation between decedent against a more experienced and better conditioned opponent,” and did not report the injury in a timely manner.
     Sanchez claims the school “failed to obtain physical clearance from a physician … following head trauma” and promoted a “win at all costs attitude” which led to his son’s injury not being properly reported.
     Sanchez seeks punitive damages for negligence and wrongful death. He is represented by Lawrence Simon of Ridgewood, N.J.

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