Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ereck Plancher death: UCF attorneys laughing at the family's suffering

For some reason the atletic program seems to accept that their attorneys can obstruct and even laugh at the suffering of the family of Ereck Plancher.

Ereck Plancher died as a result of intense football team practice from which he ought to have been excluded, if anyone had realized he had sickle cell trait. Now it appears that the head athletic trainer, Mary Vander Heiden, cannot remember if she went over the test results with young Plancher.

However, under questioning by Plancher's family's attorney in a deposition, the UCF attorneys tell Mary Vander Heiden to keep her mouth shut. Getting too close to the truth, probably.

Ereck Plancher death: Family attorneys question whether UCF told football player he had sickle cell trait
Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel
11:16 p.m. EST, March 6, 2010
Vander Heiden gave a second deposition Feb. 16 in the pending wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Plancher's parents. The deposition transcript was entered into Orange County Circuit Court records Thursday and obtained exclusively by the Orlando Sentinel.

When Plancher family attorney Steven Yerrid asked whether Vander Heiden told Plancher about his condition she responded, "Well, I can't say with certainty that, yes, I did or, no, I didn't."

Yerrid then asked Vander Heiden, "Ma'am, you didn't tell Mr. Plancher, did you?" UCF attorney Daniel Shapiro objected because it the question was addressed during a previous deposition and advised Vander Heiden not to respond. Yerrid was forced to move on to other questions...

The exchanges between attorneys from both sides were at times heated in a deposition that took more than nine hours to complete and filled 416 transcribed pages.

When UCF attorney Daniel Shapiro objected in the first 10 minutes of the deposition, Plancher family attorney Steven Yerrid responded, "I'm going to let that go a little bit longer and then we're going to, we're going to stop and go see the judge again because you made 33 form objections to the last deposition that I participated in. You gave a lot of instructions not to answer. And that's not in the spirit, nor within permissible conduct of an attorney conducting the defense of a deponent's deposition."

Shapiro responded by saying he did not need a lecture.

After more disputes, UCF attorneys eventually called Circuit Judge Julie H. O'Kane to request that she force the Plancher family attorneys to behave professionally. She was out of the office and did not respond. The Plancher attorneys argued that UCF's legal team was laughing, making disparaging remarks and constantly interrupting the deposition.

It seems inconceivable to me that an attorney can display this kind of cowardly, raucous, callous laughing at the pain of Ereck Plancher's family.