(CN) – Hosts of a 128-team basketball tournament can’t dismiss a lawsuit filed by parents of a 14-year-old boy who had a heart attack after the first half of his game and died as it took emergency medical personnel 30 minutes to enter the facility.
Deshaun Newton ostensibly had a congenital respiratory condition and heart defect, and his coach performed CPR, but no one else came to the boy’s aid.
After their son’s death, Duane Newton and Theresa Grant Newton filed suit against Next Level Ballers, tournament coordinator Wes Grandstaff, Jane Doe Grandstaff, the YMCA, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and Nike USA.
They claimed that the YMCA did not have medical equipment, such as a defibrillator, nor were any emergency personnel on stand by. The size of the tournament made it extremely difficult for medics to reach Deshaun, and the defendants allegedly failed to “provide effective ingress and egress to the facility that would have allowed emergency medical personnel to access quickly the premises and render immediate and necessary aid,” according to the Northern District of Texas.
The Grandstaffs and Next Level Ballers moved to dismiss the claims against them, but U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay disagreed that the Newtons had failed to state a claim.
The plaintiffs’ complaint “states a plausible claim for relief under all” three standards that nthe Texas Supreme Court has acknowledged in sports-related injury cases.
Under the “reckless or intentional” standard, the court agreed with the Newtons argument that it is “standard” to have emergency medical personnel and equipment available at these kinds of tournaments.
Deviating from this standard also means the Newtons advanced a plausible claim for relief under the second standard, “traditional negligence,” because defendants “owed and breached a legal duty of ‘ordinary care.'”
While cardiac arrest is not an injury inherent to playing basketball, the Newtons made a plausible claim under the “inherent risk” standard because they say that tournament organizers did not have any way to help a player who might have suffered any sports-related injury.