A Kentucky doctor who cleared a teenager to play high school soccer, as required by abnormal findings in a test administered pursuant to a sports physical, is now the defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the boy’s parents following the youth’s death on a soccer field.
In 2006, prior to the boy’s junior year in high school, he took a physical that revealed he had a heart murmur and abnormal thickening of his heart muscle. This condition was deemed as “indicative of a life-threatening condition” that required the youth to be medically cleared before engaging in school sports activities. The doctor sent a note to the boy’s father that signified approval for participation yet omitted any mention of the abnormal condition.
The boy went on to play varsity soccer without incident in his final two years of high school and additionally played two more years at college. In March of this year, while playing an informal game at his school, he suddenly collapsed and died.
The wrongful death suit brought against the doctor by the boy’s parents alleges that the physician had an affirmative duty to apprise them of the heart condition revealed by the test administered in the high school physical. The lawsuit claims that the boy died of a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, informally referred to as a thickening of the heart muscle. The parents allege that, because they were never made aware of this condition, they were unable to make appropriate decisions about treatment and sports participation.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and both compensatory and punitive damages.
Related Resource: www.courier-journal.com “Family of soccer player files wrongful death lawsuit against Oldham doctor” December 16, 2010