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Family of Kentucky teen who died at soccer practice reaches settlement with school

Matthew Magnine Jr. collapsed during conditioning in June 2020

Stephanie Kuzydym
Louisville Courier Journal

The family of Matthew Mangine Jr., a Northern Kentucky high school soccer player who collapsed during conditioning in June 2020, has reached a settlement with St. Henry District High School, the Diocese of Covington and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

After the initial COVID-19 shutdown, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association allowed sports to resume on June 16, 2020. Magnine collapsed on the final sprint of conditioning that day and was later pronounced dead.

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, wasn’t used on him until EMS arrived, about 12 minutes after his collapse, according to the wrongful death lawsuit the family filed in November 2020.

“We are pleased that the lawsuit we filed for the wrongful death of Matthew Mangine Jr. has been resolved,” Kevin Murphy, the Mangines’ attorney, said in a statement Friday. “We were privileged to represent two very courageous parents, who brought this lawsuit not just for themselves, but to educate and compel change in order to put safety as the highest priority in high school sports.

“We all saw what happened when an Automated External Defibrillator was timely used on Damar Hamlin.  Every school in the state of Kentucky should have an AED and an Emergency Action Plan that is practiced with simulated emergencies several times a year.  A child’s life is worth it.”

The settlement amount has not been disclosed.

Hamlin, a Buffalo Bills safety, went into cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati after taking a hit during a Jan. 2 game. He survived and is still recovering from the incident.

The Diocese of Covington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mangine was a 16-year-old rising junior who also played for Kings Hammer Soccer, a local club.

The coroner’s report listed the chief complaint as cardiac arrest, but the medical examiner ruled Mangine’s cause of death as “undetermined.”

The toxicology report tested for 63 substances, which all came back negative.

The Erlanger high school is a member of the Diocese of Covington. The high school’s athletic trainer is employed by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Prior to the settlement being reached, the case was originally set to go to trial on Monday.

When a Kentucky high school athlete collapses, it activates an athletic department’s venue-specific emergency action plan ― or EAP. An EAP is a written list of life-saving steps to take when an emergency happens during athletic events.

The lawsuit alleged those life-saving steps were not followed, nor did they list the closest emergency response equipment to the site of Mangine’s collapse.

St. Henry’s EAPs said there were three AEDs on the campus when Mangine collapsed. The lawsuit alleges there were actually five ― four in the school and one with the athletic trainer. The lawsuit also alleged the soccer coach didn’t have the keys to access the AED located closest to the practice field.

Boone County Sheriff’s Department body camera shows EMS responding with an AED more than 10 minutes after Mangine’s collapse.

St. Elizabeth provides athletic trainers to 24 high schools in the Northern Kentucky area ― mostly private schools. St. Elizabeth employs a full-time athletic trainer at St. Henry. At the time of Mangine’s collapse, that athletic trainer was at girl’s soccer practice on the other side of the school’s campus.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in high school athletes.

Family of Kentucky teen who died at soccer practice reaches settlement with school
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