Family of Hartsville football player settles wrongful death suit

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – The family of a Hartsville High School football player who died during a game four years ago has settled a wrongful death lawsuit.

Ronald and Yvonne Rouse claimed negligence on the part of the high school and other state and local offices  led to the death of their son, Ronald.

He was 18 years old and collapsed during an October 2012 football game. Doctors later said Rouse had an enlarged heart.

According to the lawsuit, Rouse had collapsed during the summer before his death, and coaches and trainers did nothing to address it. In the years since Rouse’s passing, the South Carolina Board of Education took a look at how to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Governor Haley signed the Ronald Rouse Law in April of this year. Monday night the Darlington County School Board approved an ordinance to comply with that law.

“This is a law that will allow our high school students to have AED and CPR training before they graduate high school,” explained Audrey Childers, public information officer for Darlington County Schools.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 400,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, with only about 10 percent surviving. State and county officials hope that teaching all students these life-saving techniques will keep a tragedy like the Red Fox family endured from happening anywhere else.

“It’s gonna involve a lot of training not only for our students but also for our teachers,” Childers said. “We’ve gotta get our teachers certified so that they can train; there’s a lot of equipment that we have to purchase as well.”

Of the $260,000 settlement, the family will get $156,000. The rest will go to attorney fees.

News 13 reached out for a statement from the family on the settlement. An attorney representing the Rouse family said they do not wish to comment at this time. We also reached out to Darlington County Schools and a spokesperson told us the district does not comment on legal matters.