Family of Clayton County student athlete who died files lawsuit against school employees


JONESBORO — The family of Imani Bell has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several Elite Scholars Academy employees, attorney Justin D. Miller announced Wednesday.

The 16-year-old Elite Scholars Academy basketball player died of heat stroke in August 2019 when she collapsed while taking part in outdoor exercise drills during one of the hottest days of the year.

A heat advisory had been issued on Aug. 13, 2019. The temperature ranged from 96-99 degrees with a heat index of 101-106 degrees.

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Named in the lawsuit are: Athletic Director Jason Greenlee; Girls Basketball Coach Kevin Davis; Principal Shonda Shaw; Assistant Principal Phillip Ramsey; Assistant Principal Ashley Baker; and other unidentified assistant coaches, assistant athletic directors, employees or agents of Elite Scholars Academy.

The suit alleges the ESA employees were negligent in their duties when they allowed an outdoor practice to take place. The lawsuit states they also failed to follow the Georgia High School Association’s Wet Bulb Globe Temperature rules and dates as to when basketball practices could begin.

The lawsuit is asking for monies equal to the full value of Imani Bell’s life, pre-death pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses and attorneys’ fees.

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