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Florida Supreme Court: Brain-Damaged Athlete's Family Can Sue High School

defibrillator
David Bruce via Flickr
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The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the family of a high-school soccer player who suffered brain damage after collapsing during a game. The Lee County family will now have the chance to seek damages from his school district.

The ruling in favor of the family overturns two lower court rulings that sided with the school district and dismissed the case.

The case goes back to 2008, when then-15-year-old Abel Limones, Jr., became unconscious during a game. Though the school had a legally required automated external defibrillator on site, the machine was not used to resuscitate him before an ambulance arrived. His family blames the delay for his permanent brain damage.

During oral arguments in case last year, Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis said it doesn’t make sense to expect anything less than for the device to be used.

Lewis said, "I mean… I’m sorry… I’m just missing… this is going right over my head as virtually nonsensical.”

Lewis wrote Thursday’s ruling supported by four other justices. Now a jury must decide whether the school district breached its duties to “take reasonable measures" and come to Limones’s aid in order to prevent further injury.