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Kleinknecht v. Gettysburg College

989 F.2d 1360 (1993)

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Kleinknecht v. Gettysburg College

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

989 F.2d 1360 (1993)

Facts

Drew Kleinknecht was a healthy and active sophomore lacrosse player at Gettysburg College (defendant). Lacrosse was known as one of the more dangerous contact sports, and the players typically could suffer several kinds of injuries. One day during practice, Kleinknecht was practicing drills when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest. Because the practice was in the fall, and not during the regular season, no student trainers educated in CPR were present. Two coaches were at the practice, but neither was trained in CPR. The closest phone to the field was over 200 yards away. Additionally, the coaches present on that day had never planned how they would respond to an emergency during a lacrosse practice. Once Kleinknecht collapsed, the coaches called an ambulance, and it arrived 10 to 20 minutes after the collapse; however, Kleinknecht ultimately died. Kleinknecht’s parents, Suzanne and Richard Kleinknecht (plaintiffs), filed suit against the college for wrongful death caused by the college’s alleged negligence. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for the college, finding that the college had no duty to foresee and protect against the possibility of a fatal cardiac arrest in a young, healthy boy. Kleinknecht’s parents appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hutchinson, J.)

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