Mom settles lawsuit over son's death after run at Putnam City High School

by Nolan Clay Published: November 22, 2012
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The attorney representing Putnam City Public Schools acknowledged the death was tragic.

The attorney, Laura Holmes, wrote in a legal brief, “It is not possible for a cross country coach to have eyes on every participant at every second of a run. There were coaches present and monitoring to ensure that all students ... were accounted for at the end of the run.”

She also wrote “speculation that more supervision would have prevented this accident is without merit. Every year, there are incidents where people under close supervision suffer from heat-related illnesses and die. Such deaths are not caused by the lack of supervision but by the heat.”

Both attorneys confirmed the settlement was paid from insurance funds but declined further comment. LaTasha Patton now lives in Washington, D.C., again and could not be located for comment.

The amount of the settlement — $97,500 — was disclosed in Traquan's probate case. The attorney handling the probate case said the legal fees and expenses associated with the lawsuit were paid out of that amount.

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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