A trial date has been set for a former Ashford University student who collapsed from heat stroke after he claims he was denied water during athletic training at the university in 2007.
Jermaine L. Lattimore, listed in court documents as a resident of Washington state, was a student athlete on the basketball team and was participating in pre-season conditioning practice on Sept. 5, 2007, according to a lawsuit filed in February.
Lattimore asserts he was denied a drink of water twice by Ashford coaches Andy Eberhart and Sly Grimm, once during a position exercise and once during a five-mile training run.
The lawsuit states that, according to National Collegiate Athletic Association, coaches are required to allow athletes to hydrate themselves during workouts.
Lattimore collapsed from heat stroke and was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Clinton with a temperature of at least 106.7 degrees, according to the lawsuit. He was then flown to University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City with heat stroke and sepsis, a serious medical condition that causes inflammation throughout the body.
Lattimore said Tuesday in an e-mail to the Herald that medical issues have since forced him to leave the school, and that he has suffered permanent health problems.
Ashford denied Lattimore’s claim that he was refused water in a response to his lawsuit filed in April by the Des Moines law firm representing the university. The response states any physical harm to Lattimore came from his voluntary participation in strenuous physical activities.
“Plaintiff either knew, or should have known, the risks and hazards involved, and that plaintiff by his free and voluntary acts, assumed the risk of injury,” the response states.
Lattimore, who is represented by a Davenport law firm, seeks unspecified monetary damages against the university and the two employees. A court order filed last week set a trial date for the lawsuit for Aug. 8, 2011.
Larry Libberton, director of communications at Ashford, said when reached for comment Wednesday that it’s not the university’s policy to comment on ongoing litigation.