Ten years after being awarded a $2 million settlement in a Florida lawsuit, one family is still waiting for payment. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed after a woman's 18-year-old son died following an intense team workout.
Although the young man complained of difficulty breathing and chest pains, he was pushed on in an effort to appease his coach and teammates. A judge found that the college where the man was playing football had shown negligence that resulted in a wrongful death and awarded the family a $2 million settlement.
At the time, however, Florida law only allowed an initial payout of $200,000 when lawsuits were won against state organizations. Further funds would have to be approved by multiple claims bills filed in the state legislature. The family was unaware of the process and did not yet understand with whom they should be speaking to help move their claim forward and get the compensation they deserve.
Unfortunately, this family is not alone. Another family sued a college in Florida in 2008, following their son's death after an off-season, on-campus workout session. But in this lawsuit, the judge ruled that the school could not be considered a state entity and awarded the family a $10 million settlement. It's unlikely that this family will have to wait long to receive their much deserved closure.
But today, the family that has been waiting for closure for a decade still waits. They eventually hope to settle the lawsuit once and for all, and help realize their deceased son's dream of opening a youth football center in the family's home country of the Bahamas. And according to the family, that's a part of their son they want to keep alive.
Source: Orlando Sentinel: "10-years later, Devaughn Darling's family still fighting," Andrew Carter, Oct. 1, 2011