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Mother files wrongful death suit after pole vault mishap

An Illinois wrongful death suit has been re-filed in Morgan County after having been moved from Cook County courts. The wrongful death suit was filed against Illinois College, the Midwest Athletic Conference and Ginnell College in connection with a 2010 incident at a pole-vaulting competition. A college student reportedly died after suffering injuries during a track meet for the Midwest Conference Championships in 2010.

Courtroom documents show that the pole vaulter attempted to clear the 11-foot mark, but he was injured when he landed after the jump. The victim suffered serious injuries when a mat in the area's landing pit collapsed. Illinois College, which was hosting the event, is accused of negligence in the wrongful death incident; the suit alleges that the pit mats were not put together properly.

As a result of the mat collapse, the victim suffered a violent change in direction that caused him to strike his head on the ground next to the pit. The victim died later while receiving treatment. He had been transported to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois, after suffering the serious brain injury.

The student was enrolled at Grinnell College, which is also named in the suit. The plaintiff, the student's mother, alleges that the school did not provide acceptable training for pole vault, and that improper coaching led to her son's death. Two manufacturers of athletic equipment have also been included in the suit, which is seeking damages of more than $50,000.

Victims who have suffered the loss of a loved one because of someone else's negligence may be eligible for financial compensation. Those victims may be able to recover damages for loss of companionship, pain and suffering, funeral expenses and a variety of other civil claims. No one should have to suffer in silence after such an incident; an Illinois personal injury attorney may be able to help those victims be heard in civil court.

Source: WLDS 1180 AM, "2010 wrongful death case transferred to Morgan County" Jim McCabe, Mar. 28, 2014

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