Louisville, KY—A La Grange doctor and his practice have been sued for the alleged wrongful death of an Oldham County teenager who, after being told he was physically fit to play sports, collapsed during a soccer game. The lawsuit, which claims the physician failed to inform the soccer player’s parents that their son had a potentially dangerous heart condition prior to his death, was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, as reported by the Courier-Journal.
Though a 2006 physical revealed that 19-year-old Bryce Turner had a heart murmur, his person physician, Dr. Carl D. Paige later examined him, determining that he was well enough to take part in athletics.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, Dr. Paige sent Turner’s parents a letter in July 2006, stating that their son could play sports.
Conversely, the Kentucky doctor failed to notify Turner’s family that medical tests revealed that he had a thickening of the heart muscle, which “could be indicative of a life-threatening condition.” The letter also failed to suggest that the teen be tested again the following year.
Turner became a member of the varsity soccer team at Trinity High School, graduated in 2007 and then went on to play two years of the sport at California-based Chapman University.
On March 16, 2009, Turner was playing a recreational soccer game at Chapman when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The lawsuit alleges Turner’s cause of death was deemed to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which in layman’s terms means a thickening of the heart muscle.
The wrongful death attorney representing Turner’s family contended, “Patients and parents have a right to know about serious abnormal test results so they can make appropriate medical decisions about treatment, and here that didn’t happen.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Bryce C. Turner memorial Foundation. The foundation promotes early detection and increased awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is apparently a major cause of death among athletes.
The pending wrongful death litigation seeks a trial by jury, as well as both punitive and non-economic damages. Paige did not comment on the suit.
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