The parents of a 16-year-old football player who died at Northwest High School in Germantown are suing the Montgomery County school board and their son's coaches for not doing enough to prevent his 2009 death.
Edwin Miller, a rising junior, was participating in agility drills and running sprints at a summer football practice on July 2, 2009, when he collapsed. Then-head coach Mark Maradei said that coaches performed CPR on Miller, and Maradei accompanied him to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. Maradei said at the time that "everyone did what they were supposed to do."
Miller died of heat stroke four days later at Children's National Medical Center.
The defendants -- Maradei, the Board of Education and then-coaches Joseph and Kevin Tehaan -- "owed a duty to the student athletes ... to exercise reasonable care for the safety of their students, so that said students would avoid foreseeable risk of injury," the legal complaint says.
The defendants did not ensure the athletes were in sufficient physical condition to participate, provide adequate water and other supplies that would have ensured the athletes' safety, and conduct the workouts in a way that would avoid subjecting the athletes to physical injury, the lawsuit claims. Because the school officials were not prepared with the proper first aid equipment, water, ice and other safety equipment, they were not able to properly treat him for heat exhaustion, the suit says.
Joseph Tehaan and Maradei did not return calls and emails requesting comment. Kevin Tehaan and Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig declined to comment.
John Costello, the lawyer for Miller's family, also declined to comment.
Before participating in athletics, all Northwest High School students must submit a completed physical form, a parent-signed permission form and a "medical card" containing emergency contact information, known allergies and a parent's signature indicating permission to administer treatment in the event that something happens. Tofig did not answer questions about whether this requirement was in place in 2009.
Nahdi Nah, Carlton Miller and Alston Nah -- Edwin Miller's mother, father and uncle, respectively -- are seeking $4 million in damages for Edwin's death, as well as to recover medical and funeral expenses.
Though Maradei is no longer coaching football at Northwest High School, after resigning in November 2009 -- less than a year after he was hired -- he still teaches physical education at the school.
Kevin Tehaan is listed as a physical eucation teacher at Gaithersburg High School. Joseph Tehaan does not work for the school system, according to Tofig. On Facebook, he is listed as the owner of Tehaan's Landscape Inc.