Mother of boy who died on basketball court sues Riverside High School

SHARE Mother of boy who died on basketball court sues Riverside High School
SHARE Mother of boy who died on basketball court sues Riverside High School

The mother of a teen who collapsed and later died after a high school basketball game at a southwest suburban Riverside high school is suing the school, the school district and the board of education.

Jermaine Cullum, a 16-year-old student at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep, was playing basketball during the Team Rose AAU Shootout on May 3, 2014, at Riverside Brookfield High School, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Cook County Circuit Court.

Cullum collapsed on the hardwood floor after performing a layup. An emergency room physician and a nurse who were in the stands began performing CPR until emergency crews arrived, the Sun-Times previously reported.

While they were able to revive Cullum, he died three days later. The nurse and doctor requested a defibrillator, or AED, at the time of Cullum’s collapse, but one could not be found, the suit said.

While Cullum’s autopsy was ruled inclusive at the time, the boy’s mother, Tarcia Patton, claims in her lawsuit that her son died as a result of cardiac arrest resulting in oxygen deprivation to his brain.

The school failed to provide an operable AED for medical emergencies or ensure a trained AED user was on premise during the basketball game, the suit claims. It also says the school did not adopt a plan for responding medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest and failed to comply with the requirements of the Fitness Facility Emergency Act.

The four-count suit claims negligence and seeks unspecified damages.

The lawsuit lists Riverside Brookfield High School, Riverside Brookfield School District 208, Township District 208, District 208 Board of Education, Riverside Brookfield Township High School and Cook County District 208 as defendants.

Calls made to the school Thursday afternoon were not immediately returned.

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