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Lawsuits can take years to get to trial and thousands of hours of legal work. The litigation concerning the death of a University of Florida freshman football player right after a practice session in 2001 is a good example. The present status of the case is reported by FLORIDA TODAY.

Autin’s family alters lawsuit

GAINESVILLE – Almost five years after Florida freshman football player Eraste Autin collapsed and died following a voluntary summer workout, attorneys representing the family in a civil suit appear close to finally taking their argument of negligence into a courtroom.

Court documents obtained by FLORIDA TODAY reveal that the family’s claims against Shands Hospital, where Autin was treated, and the UF Board of Trustees have been dropped to focus on a suit against the University Athletic Association.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2003.

Records available through Florida’s open-records law have reached the point they are stored in nine separate files containing thousands of pages, revealing dozens of witnesses and experts have been sought and interviewed over the years.

The civil suit claims: “The agents, employees and representatives of the University Athletic Association, Inc., acted negligently and carelessly by failing to prevent, detect or treat the heat related injury Eraste Autin sustained.”

Autin, a freshman fullback, collapsed on July 19, 2001, outside Florida Field while returning to the locker room from the practice fields outside the main stadium.

Autin’s father, David Autin, has maintained his reason for the legal action was because of his strong feelings that his son did not get proper treatment.

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