Jameson’s mother files $1 million suit against county schools, Parks and Rec

The mother of a 14-year-old boy who collapsed and died of cardiac arrest while playing basketball on June 26, 2009, at Eagleton Middle School, filed a $1 million suit in Blount County Circuit Court.

Rhonda Harrill, next of kin and parent of Tanner Lee Jameson, filed the wrongful death suit against Blount County Schools, Robin C. Cook, RN, and Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission. Harrill’s attorneys Lance Evans and Maurice Briere filed the action on June 24.

Rob Britt, Blount County Schools director, did not return a call for comment regarding the suit. Joe Huff, executive director of Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission, did not wish to comment, and Cook could not be reached.

According to the suit, Jameson was at the middle school playing in a Parks and Rec basketball game when he began to feel ill. A short time later, the lawsuit says, the child was found on the ground unresponsive. Adults at the school tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Jameson died a short time later of cardiac arrhythmia.

According to the suit, the school had an automated external defibrillator, but the device was in the school office and wasn’t accessible to those in the gym. “Due to the location of the school’s AED, the life-saving device was completely inaccessible in this emergency situation,” reads the lawsuit. “Plaintiff Rhonda Harrill contends that the AED at Eagleton Middle School was not accessible during an emergency situation. The accessibility and timely use of the AED would have prevented the death of Tanner Lee Jameson.”

Harrill alleges the defendants violated TCA 49-2-122 and TCA 68-140-703, respectively, regarding placement of automated external defibrillator devices and regarding use of AED devices.

According to the suit, “The foregoing acts and omission constituted gross negligence and proximately caused fatal injuries to Tanner Lee Jameson, entitling plaintiffs to recover compensatory damages, including medical, funeral and burial expenses as well as damages for loss of Tanner Lee Jameson’s life.”

Harrill is asking for $1 million in compensatory damages.

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