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State's High Court Rules UCF Has Immunity in Death of Athlete

Supreme Court
Posted at 10:06 PM, May 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-29 07:49:07-04

ORLANDO, FL. (WTXL) - The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the private corporation that runs the University of Central Florida's athletic program won't have to pay $10 million to the family of a football player who died during practice.

The court on Thursday voted 6-0 with one recusal to uphold a lower court ruling that the University of Central Florida Athletic Association is entitled to the same sovereign immunity that protects state agencies from paying more than $200,000 in damages. Football player Ereck Plancher collapsed and died during a 2008 practice. His family sued the association, claiming negligence.

A trial court awarded the family $10 million. An appellate court, however, ruled that the association was entitled to sovereign immunity.