» Perlmutter & Schuelke State Wrongful Death Lawsuits Are Often About Getting Answers, Not Money

Perlmutter & Schuelke State Wrongful Death Lawsuits Are Often About Getting Answers, Not Money

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 11, 2013 – Wrongful death lawsuits are not exclusively about getting compensation. They are often used to deliver a message.

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP

“Many families that face the loss of a loved one due to a negligent action on the part of another, want to make sure someone else does not experience what they went through. In filing a wrongful death lawsuit, they have a chance to send a message to not only the wrongdoer, but to society in general, about the circumstances of their loss and their wish to save someone the grief they face,” remarked Brooks Schuelke, an Austin wrongful death lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke.

Some wrongful death cases do not make it into the courtroom, and are settled after a round of negotiations. Consider the case of a 20-year-old University of Mississippi junior footballer, Bennie Abram III, who died during a football practice in 2010.

The lawsuit alleged that the university did not have proper protocol in place and did not adhere to workout guidelines for students with sickle-cell trait — a disease known to deform red blood cells after arduous exercise. It also suggested that athletic department staff were reckless and careless in pushing the man to continue his workout despite evidence he was physically struggling.

“In this reported case, the young man collapsed during the first practice of the year. He died later in a nearby hospital. The autopsy report indicated he had died due to complications relating to sickle cell trait. The evidence presented indicated the university was aware the man had sickle cell trait, but asserted their staff acted in a proper manner,” explained Schuelke. Having sickle cell trait, present in roughly 8 percent of African-Americans, does not ban an athlete from playing sports, since the condition is manageable with a certain amount of care.

The named defendants in the case were the staff of the athletic department, the university and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), among others. In the final analysis, the family did receive a sum of money from the university and a payment from an NCAA insurance policy.

“However, the point of the lawsuit was not the money. It was about sending a clear message that the university and the NCAA needed to make changes to policies relating to players with sickle cell trait. Currently, the only guideline in place is set out by the NCAA, which states compromised athletes should adhere to a toned down conditioning program and on the first signs of physical difficulties, they are to halt their activities,” Schuelke outlined.

For those who have lost a loved one due to the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of another, it is best to seek the skilled representation of an Austin wrongful death lawyer to pursue the matter in the courts.

Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944


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