Two weeks ago, on September 17, 2009, Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason Stinson was acquitted of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the August 20, 2008 heat-stroke death of Max Gilpin, a sophomore lineman. The jury was made up of 8 men and 4 women. This was the nation’s first criminal trial of a football coach in a player’s heat-related death. (See the article from the Louisville Courier Journal )
The State of Kentucky has a Kentucky High School Athletic Association governing body. This association covers many areas. One of them is child safety. And per their rules and regulations, Coach Stinson was being tried criminally for failing to follow the heat index rules and thus causing the death of Max Gilpin. The rules for any and all to see are at: http://www.khsaa.org/sportsmedicine/heat/
Coach Stinson will now have to face a civil trial. This is very common in death cases such as this.
There are big differences between a criminal and civil case. In a criminal case, one’s liberty is at stake. In a civil case, usually there is no jail and only monetary gains are being sought. Also, the burden of proof is very different. As you have probably heard the expression “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that is a high standard and only applies to a criminal case. In a civil case, the burden of proof is much lower, a “preponderance” of the evidence standard is used which is basically a 51%-49% standard which means that if the jury find that the defendant is just a little bit more likely to be guilty than innocent, then they can find for the plaintiff and award monetary relief to the plaintiff. This standard is very low as compared to a criminal case. As a Kentucky personal injury lawyer, Andrew Alitowski can help you in figuring out these legal mazes and make them all make sense to you.
So, we now must await the civil case in this unfortunate death case of Max Gilpin. And this time, as compared to in the criminal case, Coach Stinson will have to testify. In the criminal case, he did not take the stand. But, in the civil case, he will have to give a deposition and tell his side of the story. There is no 5th amendment right to hide behind. As a Kentucky personal injury lawyer, I am able to get to the truth and assist you and your family in getting to the real and honest answers in your civil case.
If you have been injured in any personal injury accident, please call and speak to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!