Update (7/25): The Pierce County Medical Examiner said the boy died of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy — a condition where the heart cells thicken and can cut off blood flow in the ventricles.
According to the American Heart Association, symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. It can cause sudden cardiac arrest during rigorous physical activity.
A football player at Federal Way High School died Tuesday after a team summer conditioning workout, the school district said.
The district said the teenager had been running sprints with the football team when he collapsed.
He was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he later died.
Temperatures were around 90 degrees in Federal Way on Tuesday. No other details were immediately available about the incident.
Federal Way School District Releases Letter to Parents
Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Campbell released a letter to parents:
"It is with deep sadness that I am sharing that a student-athlete, a member of the Federal Way High School Family, passed away suddenly today after participating in a summer conditioning workout at Federal Way High School. Our hearts are with the family as they deal with the loss.
"We have protocols and procedures in place to ensure student safety during summer workouts," the letter said. "Over the next 72 hours, we will be suspending all outdoor athletic activities at the middle and high schools to closely verify and examine the protocols we have in place."
Families May File Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Schools
If a student-athlete is killed in an accident at a school and there is some element of negligence involved, the parents or guardians of that student-athlete may file a wrongful death claim against the school or district to recover compensation for their losses.
Summer conditioning workouts for football can be extremely dangerous. When the proper protocols and safety measures are not followed, excessive heat and the strenuous nature of the sport can make it deadly.
In recent years, a number of high-profile wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against colleges and high schools after the death of a football player. Those lawsuits often reach into the millions of dollars.
It’s not yet clear if the family in the case mentioned above will file a civil claim against the school district.
To learn more about how to proceed after someone else’s negligence causes the death of a loved one, meet with an experienced Washington state wrongful death attorney at Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S.
For a free case evaluation, contact us at (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.