Former soccer player sues coach at MHS

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A former soccer player at Monticello High School is suing his coach and the school's athletic director, saying he almost died of heat stroke while practicing last summer.

Patrick Clancy's family says he could barely walk after the July 2017 practice and his hands were turning blue and he began vomiting.

They took him to the hospital where the doctors said he nearly died of “extertional heat illness.”

The lawsuit accuses the coach, Stuart Pierson, and athletic director, Matthew Pearman, of violating guidelines meant to protect student-athletes.

It also claims there was no trainer or cold water available at the practice and team members took no rest breaks for two hours.

The suit cites research about synthetic turf fields, which reportedly can have a surface temperature of up to 60 degrees higher than the ambient air temperature.

Combined with the heat index of the day of the practice, the lawsuit says it was reaching dangerous levels for heat and conditions were such that other schools in the area had canceled practices.

It also says such summer practices are held in order to help student-athletes acclimate to playing in hot conditions that will be similar to regular practices that begin in August.

However, it adds that Clancy stopped sweating and became ill during the practice, including developing a headache, nausea and having difficulty walking.

The lawsuit accuses the school of blaming Clancy for not bringing enough water for himself.

The school allegedly told all team members to bring two liters of water to drink, which Clancy did.

The lawsuit claims Pierson ridiculed Clancy in front of the entire team at the end of the practice when he noticed Clancy had run out of water.

It is seeking $1 million in damages.

To read the full lawsuit, click on the link in the Related Documents box.

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