After a high school coaching staff failed to recognize obvious symptoms of heat illness during football practice on a hot day, a student collapsed on the field and ultimately died of sudden cardiac arrest.
Shawn McCann, Esq., and Jesse French, Esq., needed to demonstrate to jurors that the death of their clients’ son was the direct result of several points of negligence on behalf of the coaching staff:
The coaches failed to complete the proper safety training that would have prepared them for this preventable catastrophe.
Due to this lack of training, coaches implemented a practice plan that was inappropriate for the environmental conditions.
Coaches were unprepared to recognize signs and symptoms of heat illness.
Coaches allowed the student to practice even though he had not passed a pre-participation physical examination or related paperwork, which was required by the California Interscholastic Federation.
Coaches did not provide adequate water breaks for students during practice - some testifying that they were denied requests for water.
The school did not have had an automated defibrillator accessible for use within 3 to 5 minutes of the student’s collapse.
The combination of this negligence ultimately resulted in the student’s death. But before Mr. McCann and Mr. French could establish these facts, they needed jurors to understand the biomechanics of heat illness, dehydration, how these factors impact the heart.
Animating how dehydration prevents sweat glands from cooling the body.
Custom graphic showing risk factors to consider when exercising in heat.
We built their legal team a visual presentation comprised of animations and infographics that would simplify the complexity surrounding the case, and establish how easily this death could have been prevented. The visuals were created to achieve the following visual objectives:
Demonstrate how exercising in the heat affects the heart.
Show how sweat glands secrete moisture to lower a person’s temperature, and how dehydration prevents this.
Stack up all the dangerous risk factors that contributed to the student’s cardiac arrest, and went ignored.
Establish how these factors sped up the heart rate to a critical point of demand that resulted in sudden cardiac arrest.
Compare the student’s lack of acclimation to intense exercise in the heat to the normal amount of time it takes to acclimate to the heat.
Demonstrate how an automated external defibrillator would have easily stabilized the heart and saved this student’s life - had it been available.
Animating how environmental and physical factors increase demand on the heart.
Custom graphic illustrating the student’s lack of acclimation to the heat.
The exhibits helped jurors understand that coaches pushed their student past the brink of death through heat exhaustion, that they were dangerously ill-equipped and untrained for addressing this condition, and that this student’s death could have been easily prevented had the school provided the proper equipment and training to their staff. After a nine-week trial and two-and-a-half days of jury deliberations, the student’s family was awarded an $8M verdict.
Animating how an automated external defibrillator works.
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High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists, and developers can build and customize your digital presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma - or any subject involving complex information.