Local I-Team: Lawsuit Filed Over High School Football Player's Death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - (localmemphis.com) - A new lawsuit accuses a West Tennessee school district, the school board, and a head football coach of violating rules for student athletes when it comes to practicing in extreme heat.

16-year-old Haywood High School junior Tekarian Maclin died last summer after overheating during football practice. Now his family wants to protect other student athletes.

Haywood County Schools isn't commenting on the $2 million lawsuit.  It blames the school district and the coach for Maclin's death.

"He was my baby," said Tekarian's mother Daphne Maclin. "He was basically my shadow. Everywhere I went he was there."

That changed July of 2015 when Maclin died after football practice. The lawsuit alleges Haywood County Schools didn't follow proper guidelines for practicing in the summer heat, conducting outdoor practice after the heat index rose above 105 degrees. The family's lawyer says his weather experts put the heat index during that time as high as 111 degrees.

"Practice continued. Practice continued for about two hours until about 11 o'clock," said Jeff Rosenblum, Maclin's lawyer.

Rosenblum said says coaches should have been keeping a closer eye on the temperature, especially after what had happened during practice the previous day. "There was another kid the day before who fell out at practice who had to be taken to the hospital because of heat and nothing was done the following day."

Maclin himself called 911 from the school around 11:30 a.m. By 2:00 p.m. , he was unconscious. He was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. By early evening, he was dead. 

"Heat can kill and heat is dangerous," said Rosenblum. "Coaches we believe are putting too much emphasis on winning, and not enough emphasis on safety. We want mandatory cessation of practice when it reaches 105 or above."

"To lose my child, it's indescribable," said Maclin. She says nothing will bring back her son, but this lawsuit could save another young athlete's life.

Rosenblum hopes the lawsuit will result in a better system to monitor heat during sports practices, including better training and equipment for those that do.

 


Don't Miss

  • Find It
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Win Tickets to See the RiverKings
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • You Could Get Your Mortgage Paid for a Year!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Featured Employers
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News