ILNews

Indiana Supreme Court won't review football death case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court will not review a Marion County case involving a 17-year-old ;s death following football practice in July 2001.

Justices denied transfer Thursday in Stowers v. Clinton Central, declining to vacate the Oct. 26 Court of Appeals decision that the school corporation, coaches, and athletic director were not negligent in the teenager ;s death. However, the ruling also stands that Marion Superior Judge Gary Miller erred by not including a jury instruction to describe the scope of school release forms.

Travis Stowers was a junior at Clinton Central High School when he collapsed during practice in July 2001 on a day when temperatures reached the 90s. He was treated by a team trainer before being taken to the hospital, where he died the next morning. Doctors determined his body temperature had reached 108 degrees.

His parents sued Clinton Central schools and the Indiana High School Athletic Association in 2002, claiming school officials disregarded rules limiting hot-weather practices. According to IHSAA guidelines, the first two days of pre-season practice must be limited to two, 90-minute sessions with a two-hour break between workouts.

A jury determined after a trial last year that the school was not negligent and was not liable for the boy ;s death.

In their appeal, Alan and Sherry Stowers also argued that neither they nor their son had assumed any risk and that Travis did not contribute to his death through his own negligence. The defense at the civil trial had argued that he waited too long to inform a coach he was not feeling well after appearing to have recovered from vomiting in the first of two practice sessions that day.

 
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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