ROLESVILLE, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — The family of a Rolesville High School football player who died after sustaining a head injury during practice has filed a lawsuit against the Wake County Public School System and members of the athletic staff.
Isaiah Langston, 17, died in September 2014 from a stroke caused by the head injury five days prior.
The junior linebacker collapsed during warmups for the fifth game of the season.
The lawsuit says the school did not follow the state’s concussion protocol and did nothing as the teen complained of headaches days before his collapse.
“Mrs. Williams is concerned about not only what happened to her son, but also, what could potentially happen to other players here throughout the state,” said attorney Karonnie Truzy.
State law dictates that student-athletes displaying concussion symptoms must be cleared by a medical doctor or licensed athletic trainer to return to practice.
Langston’s mother says he suffered a head injury in practice at the beginning of that week.
The lawsuit claims the school didn’t follow concussion protocol.
“It puts an even more burden on these coaches and the other trainers that are on the field to make sure these athletes are being taken care of once there’s even the suggestion that there’s any type of closed head injury,” Truzy said.
The district says in its legal response that Langston was negligent and school officials didn’t know he was concussed.
But Truzy says even pros sometimes get pulled from games by staff.
“You see players that are injured and their first reaction is ‘I want to get back out there on the field. I want to continue to play.’ However, there has to be someone who has more objectivity. Someone who is evaluating these things more critically,” he said.
A Wake County Public Schools spokesperson said the system does not comment on pending litigation.
Langston’s family is hopeful this will go to trial by the fall.
North Carolina requires student-athletes who display concussion symptoms to receive clearance from a medical doctor or licensed athletic trainer before they can resume on-field activities.