Lawsuit Claims MHS Athletic Director, Coach Negligent for Near-Fatal Heat Stroke
A Monticello High School student is suing two faculty members after his lawyer says the teen almost died as a result of soccer practice last summer.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A Monticello High School student is suing two faculty members after his lawyer says the teen almost died as a result of a soccer practice last summer.
Patrick Clancy claims Monticello High School Athletic Director Matthew Pearman and soccer coach Stuart Pierson put his health in danger. The student is being represented by Lloyd Snook, who provides legal analysis for NBC29.
According to the lawsuit, Clancy suffered from “exertional heat stroke” after taking part in a two-hour practice early July 21, 2017. The court document notes it was already 80 degrees with 72% humidity at 8 a.m. when players took to the synthetic turf field at Monticello High School. Once Patrick got home, his mom reportedly noticed her son's hands were turning blue and he was gasping for air.
"He couldn't walk , he couldn't talk. His head was hurting so much he was nauseous. He was in bad shape. All he wanted to do was lay on the cold, wood floor," said Emily Clancy.
A press release from the attorney states, “His mother, Emily Clancy, immediately recognized the signs of heat stroke, and got him into a cold bath and then to the hospital. The doctors estimate that he very nearly died that morning.”
Clancy, a 10th-grader at the time of the incident, claims negligence and gross negligence by Pearman and Pierson. His lawsuit says school officials violated Virginia High School League guidelines for conducting practices by not having a trainer, cold water, shade, and rest breaks.
"Everybody agrees on what those standards are, and we believe that the evidence will be clear that those standards were not followed," Snook said.
"We put out the guidelines, and then those local schools can choose to be as stringent as they want. They can make them more stringent. They can make them less stringent," said Billy Haun, Virginia High School League.
Snook says the school division is blaming Clancy for the episode because he didn't bring enough water that day.
Clancy is seeking a total of $1 million in the suit.
NBC29 has not received a response statement from the Albemarle County School Division.