Old article, but trying to update stuff in this forum:http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/5593 ... story.html
Family of pole vaulter who died after track meet sues Illinois College
BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
May 25, 2011 5:08PM
Updated: May 25, 2011 5:24PM
The mother of a college pole vaulter who died after he was injured during a Downstate track meet filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday in Chicago.
Robert Yin, a native of Maryland and a sophomore at Iowa’s Grinnell College, was competing in a track meet at Illinois College in Jacksonville last May when he “attempted to clear 11 feet,” according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. But as he landed, “the mat in the landing pit collapsed under him,” the suit says.
“Robert Yin’s upper body was violently whipped off the collapsed mat towards the unprotected and uncovered area next to the mat,” the suit states. “[He] ... struck the back of his head on the ground.”
He died May 17th, 2010, in a Springfield hospital — three days after the meet.
Sandra G. Giger, the student’s mother, is now suing Illinois College, alleging the mats in the pit weren’t properly assembled.
She’s also suing Grinnell, alleging the school failed to prevent him from participating in the meet even though he had been having problems with his form and technique that “resulted in his landing to the right.” The suit states that those problems continued during his warm-up for the event in which he was injured and later died.
The suit also blames the school for allowing him to perform even though he had told his coach one of his arms hurt and that he was in pain. A few days before the Midwest Conference Track and Field Championships meet, he had also told his coach that he was feeling sick and was taking medications for his illness, the suit states.
“... Robert Yin was frequently throwing up, a recurring problem he had previously discussed with’’ the coach, the suit states.
The suit also alleges the school “[c]arelessly and negligently failed to provide adequate training and instruction in the fundamentals of the pole vault event.”
The suit states that while Yin was on the track team in high school, he had only begun to pole vault during the 2009-2010 school year.
Reached on Wednesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Illinois College would not comment. A Grinnell spokeswoman said the school had not seen the suit and had no comment.
While Yin was a Grinnell student and the incident happened Downstate, the case was filed in Cook County Circuit Court because a foreign corporation — identified as Grinnell — is a defendant in the lawsuit, according to Giger’s attorney Joseph P. Shannon.
Shannon would not comment further on the case.
Yin’s mother is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.