The family of a Hartsville High School football player who died during an October 2012 game has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
WPDE-TV reports the lawsuit claims Ronald Rouse had fainted the previous summer and a physical listed him with a very high blood pressure for an 18-year-old. But the lawsuit claims neither Rouse nor his parents were ever told about the high blood pressure being an issue and the physical was never referred to the family’s physician.
Rouse collapsed during a Hartsville game on October 5, 2012 and died a few minutes later of complications from an enlarged heart.
The suit by Columbia attorney S. Randall Hood also names the Lake Robinson Rescue Squad, which had previously agreed to have paramedics at all Hartsville home football games that season. However, the rescue squad was not present the night Rouse died. When Rouse collapsed on the field, a Hartsville trainer was able to revive him. But the lawsuit states the senior fell a second time while returning to the sidelines and did not get up again. The rescue squad arrived at the game nine minutes after someone called 911.
The South Carolina Board of Education and South Carolina High School League are also named in the suit, as Rouse’s parents claim both bodies failed to enforce policies and procedures which could have saved their son’s life.
The lawsuit argues the Darlington County School Board created a culture of winning at all costs, by allowing Rouse to play in an athletic contest dangerous to his health and having employees who did not follow safety guidelines.