The family of a New York teenager is claiming that was ordered back onto the football field after collapsing by his coach which caused him to eventually succumb to heat stroke. Staten Island resident Nicholas Dellaventura, 15, died on July 23. The family’s attorney, Ralph DeSimone, claims that Dellaventura tried to leave the field but that his coach, Salvatore Ferraioli, shouted something which made the star freshman continue.
"These kids were winded," DeSimone said. "Nicholas had pulled himself off the field because he couldn’t do it anymore, and he was told to go back and finish the practice.”
Dellaventura's family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York, St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, its athletic director and its principal. The lawsuit also names Ferraioli, who was arrested last month as part of an investigation into a mob-connected gambling ring.
Ferraioli’s lawyer denied that the coach sent Dellaventura back on the field and blamed the teen’s death on his mother, Fox News reported.
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“Absolutely not true,” said attorney Gerald McMahon.“ She sent him to practice knowing he had a fever.”
The suit charges that not enough was done to help save Dellaventura.
“They did not call 911 right away. They did not administer any type of proper first aid to him when he was in distress. There’s elementary things they could have done here that anyone with any kind of rudimentary training would have known,” DeSimone said. “If you treat the situation in the first 10 minutes, it’s 100 percent survivable.”
Assistant coach Sean Cusicks said it was impossible that Dellaventura died because of what he was doing at practice. “There was no way that workout could have done that to [Nicholas]. He was running basic drills,” he said.