Death of Chris Wilkins

Kyle Wilkins, individually and in the capacity of representative of the estate of minor, Chris Wilkins, has brought suit against the New Columbia School District for the unfortunate death of Chris Wilkins do to negligence on the part of Lincoln High School. Chris Wilkins (plaintiff) died on March 24, 1995, from a heart attack caused by excessive steroid usage and steroids ingested that day. March 24, 1995, was the day of the Tri-Conference track meet hosted by Lincoln High School. Chris was a member of the Lincoln High School track team.

He collapsed while warming up and was rushed to the New Columbia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:15 p. m. The school has a particularly good track team and his nationally recognized for producing highly gifted athletes. Chris ran varsity track throughout high school and showed great promise. Kyle Wilkins (plaintiff), parent and representative of the estate of Chris Wilkins, is bringing suit against the New Columbia County School District for damages stemming from the death of Chris Wilkins on March 24, 1995.

Plaintiff Kyle Wilkins claims that the negligence of the New Columbia School District, as well as Principal Terry Taylor and track coach Pat Connor, caused the death of Chris Wilkins. The plaintiff alleges that Lincoln High School failed to supervise the safety of their students as required under the New Columbia Safe Schools Act, Sec. 16-2400, et seq. The defendant, New Columbia School District defends by claiming that the school district was not negligent in the events surrounding the death of Chris Wilkins.

The New Columbia School District does not contest the amount of damages, but denies liability. Chris Wilkins broke the law when he bought and consumed anabolic steroids (Sec. 2-231 Sale of Controlled Substances) and breached the duty to act responsibly under the Reasonable Person Standard. The heart attack and death of Chris Wilkins was caused by the consumption of anabolic steroids, which would not have happened without the wrongful act under Cause in Fact.

Chris Wilkins willingly entered into a dangerous and illegal activity when he bought and consumed steroids, therefore he Assumed Risk. Chris Wilkins is liable for his injuries and eventual death because he engaged in a hazardous activity that did not involve the schools conduct or Causation. One cannot prove Causation on the part of the school because one cannot prove that the track coach or principal put extra pressure on Chris to perform better even though the track team is nationally recognized.

However, Kyle Wilkins brings suit against the New Columbia School District for negligence, not liability. The New Columbia School District (defendant) has a duty to provide for the health and safety of its students on the school premises, according to the Safe Schools Act (Sec. 16-2400). A school district has a duty to supervise students in a manner appropriate to the age of the students and circumstances. Chris Wilkins did buy and consume anabolic steroids and is liable for the situation that occurred because of his actions.

However, it may please the court to allow for some discussion on the laws regarding minors. For example, if a sixteen year old engages in criminal conduct, and it is the same kind of conduct that a twenty-six year old engages in, then society cannot expect similar convictions. Research shows that a sixteen year old is still growing mentally and is in fact susceptible to change. This is important to the case at hand because Chris Wilkins may not have fully expected or known the side effects or outcomes of steroid usage.

On a more technical note, Chris Wilkins may not have had the mental capacity to decide whether or not steroid use to improve his athletic ability was a smart choice. This may sound demeaning, but because Lincoln High School and the New Columbia school district owe a duty to a large majority of minors, they have to take into account the mental capacity of the minors. Lincoln High School did in fact realize that there was a steroid problem within their school and district, so they sent a letter to the parents of the track team warning and advising them on the usage of steroids.

As they fulfilled the duty of care to their athletes, Lincoln High Schools’ principal Terry Taylor, attached a letter specific to Chris and Kyle Wilkins. The attachment went as follows: “Chris’s times are improving at a miraculous pace. Keep it up and the Carl Lewis Scholarship is within reach. ” The letter and attachment is dated November 12, 1994, nearly six months before the unfortunate death of Chris Wilkins. The court should take this attachment into account because this attachment alone is a huge part of the death of Chris Wilkins and the Breach of Duty by the school and the district.

If the school truly had a problem with the usage of steroids, then why didn’t the school do more than just a letter? Principal Terry Taylor did not have to send an attachment with the letter to Kyle and Chris Wilkins, but she did and she included that Chris was improving at a “miraculous pace”. This is cannot be speculation because steroids are known to make people improve at a miraculous pace. The school breached the duty of care when they failed to really supervise Chris Wilkins even when they had a steroid problem at hand.

The court might now come to grips with the evidence and agree that the preponderance of evidence is in favor of the plaintiff Chris Wilkins because the school owed a duty of care, breached that duty, which was a direct result of the damages caused to the plaintiff. The school’s negligent and naive supervision of Chris Wilkins led to his unfortunate death. According to the Safe Schools Act (Sec. 16-2400), part (E), the New Columbia County School District is liable for the negligent acts or omissions of its agents.