Family of student who died at practice sues

Published June 17, 2006

TAMPA -- The family of a 17-year-old Alonso High School baseball player who died during practice has sued the Florida High School Athletic Association and the Hillsborough County School Board.

The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of both groups in the death of Matthew Miulli, who died in January 2005 after he collapsed during a running exercise.

Miulli, a junior, had an existing heart condition for which he previously had been treated, according to the Hillsborough County medical examiner's office.

The lawsuit claims that the FHSAA violated its own bylaws by permitting Miulli to participate in athletic activity without first securing a medical evaluation and clearance.

The suit also claims that the county had a duty to ensure the safety of its students and that the school let Miulli practice without proper medical clearance.

Further, it states, the county had neither an athletic trainer nor a defibrillator on hand at the practice.

Miulli's parents are seeking damages to pay for medical and funeral expenses, as well as compensation for mental pain and suffering.

Officials with the organizations named in the suit were unavailable for comment.