St. Henry District High School, the Diocese of Covington, and St. Elizabeth in Northern Kentucky were recently sued for the death of 16-year-old Matthew Mangine.
Losing a child is hard, even harder knowing that his death could have been prevented. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to the family of 16-year-old Matthew Mangine. A northern Kentucky high school was recently targeted in a lawsuit after Mangine collapsed while in soccer conditioning. Tragically, he died on June 16. The lawsuit named St. Henry District High School, the Diocese of Covington and St. Elizabeth as defendants in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, "no defibrillator was used while Mangine, a junior on the soccer team, suffered from heart disease."
Brown and gold hammer; Image by Bill Oxford via Unsplash.com.
AEDs are not required for athletics under Kentucky law. However, they must be “accessible from the KHSAA within three minutes of each training session or game”. The suit states that while St. Henry has three AEDs, "there was none on-site for soccer conditioning". What happened? How did Mangin die? What does the coroner's report say? According to the lawsuit, "Mangine's main complaint at the time of his death was cardiac arrest". "However, an autopsy by a medical examiner in Kentucky found the cause of death undetermined … and the toxicology report tested 63 substances, all of which were negative."
Chest compressions were given during the call. However, during the call, and in the incident report and the coroner's report, there is no mention of whether an "AED was used once EMS arrived".
During a number of interviews on the subject, many medical experts, including doctors and exercise coaches, said that AEDs save lives. Three experts "said that if an AED is used within three minutes of the breakdown, there is a 90% chance of survival." It even noted an American Heart Association report that "recommends a three-minute response as a guideline." Dr. Riana Pryor, one of those experts, stepped in and said, "For every minute that is delayed, you reduce your chance of survival by 10%."
Additionally, the lawsuit states: "Published research shows that when an athlete is used on an athlete in the first three minutes, the survival rate is 90 percent."
As a result of the tragic incident, Mangine's family is demanding compensation for "gross negligence, willful and reckless disregard and loss of affection and camaraderie because Mangine was a minor". Additionally, they hope that filing the lawsuit will draw attention to the dangers of AEDs not being readily available for another similar tragedy in the future.
A wrongful death lawsuit was filed following the collapse of football player St. Henry in June
Lawsuit: Defibrillator Saved the Life of a High School Soccer Player