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Wrongful death suit filed after campus health clinic fails student

The parents of a now deceased engineering student want answers as to what led to their son's wrongful death. The 21-year-old student had been in good health when he decided to participate in a sporting activity at school. The true extent of his injuries was never evaluated, and he died from lack of timely medical treatment.

The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the University of Texas at Arlington's Heath Services seeking $16 million.

According to reports, the young man suffered a knee injury that left him unable to walk without assistance. He was able to check in at his school's health clinic where he was seen by the medical staff. At that time his vital signs were not normal, and he could not put weight on his leg. His knee was swollen and he was in a great deal of pain.

Despite these symptoms, the health clinic sent him home and simply told him to rest. He followed their advice, but then returned to the clinic one week later when things did not improve. Again, he did not receive any treatment despite his predicament and was sent home.

That would prove to be a fatal mistake. Only a few hours later, the young man would be rushed to the emergency room with a blood clot and a pulmonary embolism from which he would not survive. He died shortly after reaching the hospital.

Parents in Connecticut send their children off to college -- often far away. While this particular accident occurred elsewhere, it reminds us all of how vulnerable even a 21-year-old can be when they rely on medical professionals to keep them safe and healthy.

This young man's parents must feel helpless and devastated. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a promising young engineering student, perhaps his loss will not have been in vain if the family can hold the university and its health clinic responsible for their inaction.

Source: star-telegram.com, "Wrongful-death suit seeks $16 million from UTA," Elizabeth Campbell, Dec. 3, 2012

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