WILLIAMSON — A Mingo County woman says county school board employees failed to properly take care of her son when he collapsed during a high school football practice.
Robin Ferguson filed her complaint in Mingo Circuit Court against the Mingo County Board of Education.
According to the complaint, her son Dustin Ferguson was taking part in the first day of football practice July 30, 2018, at Mingo Central High School.
The first days of practice typically include a lot of conditioning.
“Dustin was running laps and performing up-downs,” the complaint states. “He began stumbling, eventually pulled his helmet off and started to fall while gasping for air. Dustin told the coaches he did not feel good and that his legs were giving out.”
After a short water break during which Dustin wasn’t examined or evaluated, the team resumed conditioning. Dustin became unconscious and collapsed.
“He was not provided primary, emergency or other medical treatment or care,” the complaint states, adding that Dustin was negligently left “outside on/beside the football field until emergency medical services arrived.”
The complaint also says there was not a registered athletic trainer at the practice nor someone with limited trainer authorization.
It also says appropriate first aid and other medical gear were not present and that the coaching staff was not properly trained in first aid to deal with environmental emergency and heat illness.
The mother says her son has sustained serious injury and damages, permanent injuries and disabilities, past and future pain of body and mind, past and future medical expenses, past and future impaired earning capacity, past and future ability to enjoy life and other injuries. She says she also has sustained past and future medical expenses as well as past and future mental and emotional distress.
She seeks compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief.
She is being represented by Bert Ketchum and Clayton J. Maddox of Greene, Ketchum, Bailey & Tweel in Huntington. In its answer, the school board denies the allegations against it. The board is represented by Jennifer E. Tully and Jeffrey M. Carder of Bailey & Wyant in Charleston.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Miki Thompson as Mingo Circuit Court case number 20-C-22.