Parents file lawsuit against Mississippi school district after their son died during football practice

Francis Akhalbey January 22, 2024
Trey Laster, 17, reportedly died from heat exhaustion during practice -- Photo via WLBT

Seventeen-year-old high school football player Trey Laster reportedly died from heat exhaustion during practice on August 1, 2022. On January 17, the attorney representing the deceased teen’s family, Ben Crump, announced they have filed a lawsuit against Mississippi’s Rankin County School District.

According to WLBT, the deceased teen was a student-athlete at Brandon High School. Crump in the news release said Laster was having his first football practice of the season when he suddenly died. The attorney also said that during the practice, the deceased teen’s coaches “immediately” had him execute wind sprints, adding that he later started showing signs of heat exhaustion as he was running.

Besides stumbling as a result of his condition, Laster also became dizzy and nauseous, the complaint claims. “Ultimately, as detailed in the complaint, Trey vomited and then passed out due to the extreme conditions and his coaches’ failure to properly adjust the training to the environment and his high risk factors,” the complaint states.

The complaint further claims that the 6-foot-1-inch tall and 328-pound teen was also more prone to suffering heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The complaint also alleges that the school lacked heat exhaustion and heat stroke procedures on the field and failed to execute any known EHS prevention measures, WLBT reported.

Per the complaint, the school district workers rather put Laster in the back of a pickup truck. The complaint also claims that Laster shortly passed away because he did not receive proper heat prevention and response measures.

“Just days before Trey’s death, the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the National Federation of High Schools, of which the Rankin County School District is a member, provided numerous warnings of EHS, identified the risks to lower the chances of EHS, and provided specific instructions on the type of EHS preventive measures that are best to be present at each practice and sporting event,” the complaint states.

In 2022, Face2Face Africa reported that the parents of a 16-year-old Georgia high school basketball student, who died after suffering a heatstroke during a training session in August 2019, had reached a $10 million settlement with the school district. 

The deceased teen, identified as Imani Bell, was a junior at Elite Scholars Academy. She was partaking in a girls’ basketball team practice session in extremely high temperatures when she collapsed and later died.

The suit stated that the teen was “experiencing early signs of heat illness and was visibly struggling to physically perform the outdoor conditioning drills.” Despite the signs, the suit said Imani was instructed to still go ahead with the training.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 22, 2024


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