Local News

Chapel Hill player's family drops wrongful death suit

Posted August 13, 2010 11:58 a.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2010 12:19 p.m. EDT

— The family of a Chapel Hill high school football player who died in August 2008 has voluntarily dismissed their wrongful death suit against Orange County Emergency Services and Orange County.

Atlas Fraley, 17, a senior offensive guard and defensive tackle, participated in an Aug. 12, 2008, scrimmage at Middle Creek High in Apex. He called 911 at 1:46 p.m., complaining of cramps and dehydration and asking for intravenous fluids.

Paramedic James Griffin treated and discharged Fraley by 2:10 p.m. His parents found him unresponsive in their home that evening.

An autopsy report did not list a definite cause of death, but said Fraley had a history of cramping and similar symptoms, which could have combined with dehydration to result in a "fatal cardiac event or even an acute asthmatic attack."

In their suit, Fraley's parents alleged that Griffin provided inadequate care for their son, violated 13 EMS protocols for his medical condition and did not attempt to contact them before leaving him home alone.

The Fraley family is proceeding in the suit against Griffin.

Attorney Donald Strickland, who is representing the family, said they decided to drop the suit against the county and EMS because they have declared sovereign immunity. But they have the right to file another suit against them within a year.

State officials found no reason to revoke Griffin's paramedic credentials, but Orange County EMS determined that he violated protocol and revoked his privileges in the county. He resigned two weeks after Fraley's death.