Family sues Fla. county EMS, coach for death of HS football player

The lawsuit claims EMS providers bypassed closer hospitals, instead transporting Zachary Polsenberg to a hospital 20 miles away after he collapsed during practice

By EMS1 Staff 

LEE COUNTY, Fla — The family of a high school football player is suing the city school board, county EMS and the football coach in a wrongful death suit for their son.

According to WINK News, Zachary Polsenberg, 16, died of a heat stroke after he collapsed on the field during football practice in 2017. The lawsuit states the team was conducting sprints in 90-degree heat and the coach, James Delgado, threatened that players would be kicked off the team for taking a water break.

The family claims that the school board, the coach and Lee County EMS all contributed to Polsenberg’s death. According to the lawsuit, EMS responded and transported Polsenberg to a children’s hospital 20 miles away, despite closer options.

 "The incident was a tragedy," Lee County Attorney Richard Wesch said. "We understand the pain the family is going through. However, our staff acted in strict accordance with all acceptable medical protocol. Therefore, we do not anticipate any liability accruing to Lee County."

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