Death of High School Football Player Triggers Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A Hartsville High School football player’s family has spent the past few years making the painful adjustment to life without the talented young man.


Ronald Rouse was a bright, engaging young man who had big dreams and a deep love of football. All of that came to an end in October 2012 when Rouse collapsed in the middle of a game and passed away. The results of the investigation left the family feeling like they were justified to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the school.

Prior to that tragic night, Rouse had experienced a fainting episode during the summer. When he was brought to the doctor, the physician who saw him noted that his blood pressure was extremely high considering how young. In the paperwork the family filed, they state that they were never notified that he had any health concerns at all. Rouse’s regular doctor states that he never received a copy of the boy’s physical.

Within minutes of his collapse during a game a few months after the fainting spell, Rouse passed away and no one was able to resuscitate him. An autopsy revealed that his death was the result of complications connected to an enlarged heart.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Rouse’s parents who enlisted personal injury attorney, S. Randall Hood, to guide them through the process.


One of the defendants listed in the lawsuit is the Lake Robinson Rescue Squad. Prior to the start of the season, arrangements had been made for this rescue group to be present at all the high school football games, yet they were absent on the night that Rouse collapsed, an absence that resulted in extra time passing between his collapse and proper medical treatment. It took 9 minutes for the rescue squad to appear on the sidelines after they were dispatched there by a 911 operator

Both the South Carolina Board of Education and South Carolina High School League have also been listed as defendants in the Rouse wrongful death lawsuit. According to Rouse’s parents they did not enforce the very procedures.

ron9The reason Rouse’s parents provided for naming the Darlington County School Board as yet another defendant in the case is because the family believe that had the school not be so determined to foster a winning at all costs attitude, not only would their son have possibly reconsidered his decision to play football, but it’s also possible that the employees would have been more diligent about sticking to official safety guidelines.

“These matters of liability are complicated in situations such as this one,” said Attorney Joseph Sandefur of South Carolina’s top personal injury firm. “Your heart has to go out to the family as they struggle to move on following this unfathomable tragedy.”

If you recently lost someone and you feel the death could have been prevented, you should contact right away. They will listen to the details of your case and then advise you as to the best way to proceed.



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