OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska school district has reached a $675,000 settlement with the family of a 16-year-old who died after collapsing in the heat at a football practice in 2021.
The Omaha school board will consider approving the settlement with Drake Geiger’s family at its next meeting on Monday.
Geiger died in August 2021 after collapsing during a practice with Omaha South High’s football team. The temperature was 91 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees that day, and the National Weather Service had issued a heat advisory.
An autopsy confirmed that excessive heat was the main factor in Geiger’s death although it also revealed that he had an enlarged heart that may have contributed to his death. The teen was 6-foot-3 and around 400 pounds when he died.
Geiger’s dad, Scott Hoffman, told KETV that he believes the coaches were following the guidelines the Nebraska State Activities Association has issued for heat at the time of his son’s death. Those guidelines say that water breaks should be taken about every 15 minutes in extreme heat and when the heat index is between 105 and 124 degrees, players shouldn’t wear helmets or shoulder pads. When it is any hotter than that, practices should be cancelled.