Your body maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Like the thermostat in your house, it turns up the heat by causing shivering when the temperature is too low and starts its cooling system by causing sweating when the temperature is too high.
However, there are limits to the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. In conditions of extreme warmth and/or during intense physical activity, the body’s temperature continues to climb. When it reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the person suffers from heat stroke. Unless the victim gets immediate emergency treatment, damage occurs to the brain, internal organs, and the muscles. This is eventually followed by death.
While most people seek to cool themselves when they feel overheated, sometimes this isn’t possible because of their age or circumstances. When a heat stroke death occurs to the victim while under the supervision of another, this could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are four such circumstances:
Summer Athletic Activity
There have been many instances of heat stroke deaths of high school and college football athletes. These typically happen during summer training, particularly during heat waves. The welfare of the athletes is the coach’s responsibility.
Employment in Hot Conditions
The construction industry does much of its work in the summer months, often outdoors in the sun. For example, road workers are surrounded by hot asphalt. Roofers must work atop houses in the sun while standing on dark heat-absorbing shingles. And there are many factory laborers who work in areas without air conditioning.
The elderly population residing in nursing homes are highly vulnerable to the heat. When a power failure or breakdown causes the air conditioning to fail, there should be a plan in place to keep the residents cool. Sometimes, heat related nursing home deaths are caused by staff negligence.
Children Left in Hot Cars
A closed car with shut windows is like a greenhouse. Sunlight shines in through the glass and rapidly heats the car’s interior. The temperature inside a parked car can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s 80 degrees outside. Even when the temperature outside is 60 degrees, a car’s interior can overheat. That’s why it’s never acceptable to leave an unattended infant or small child inside a car. This is true even if the AC system is left on.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one from heat stroke or other heat related illness, our lawyers will explain your options and guide you through the legal process. Contact us at Hogan Injury.