Earlier this year, the mother of an aspiring NBA player filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league and one of its teams.
A medical examiner later determined Upshaw suffered a “sudden cardiac death” when he collapsed on the court during a March 24 game with less than 50 seconds remaining.
The lawsuit, which alleged the team’s doctor had already left the game and the medical staff and employees in the arena were not properly trained, has moved on to a Michigan federal court.
The lawsuit was originally filed in Detroit federal court on Oct. 22 by Upshaw’s mother, Jewel Upshaw, according to MLive. The lawsuit named the same four defendants as one filed in New York in May on behalf of Upshaw.
The suit filed in New York was voluntarily dropped in August and moved to Michigan due to additional Michigan-based defendants.
“The issue, be it unraveled in NY or Michigan, is exactly the same: Why did the NBA let Zeke lay on the court for over 10 minutes with an unbeating heart without implanting a single life saving procedure,” Upshaw’s lawyer Bob Hilliard, said via law360.com.
There are conflicting reports about medical services attempted after he collapsed on the court. Drive public address announcer Eric Zane told mlive.com: “What was remarkable was how fast a lady came out — within 10 seconds — she came sprinting out there with a defibrillator.”
The game in which Upshaw collapsed was the regular-season finale for the G-League’s Grand Rapids Drive.
The 6-foot-6 forward, Upshaw was in his second year with the Pistons’ G-League affiliate after going undrafted out of Hofstra. He averaged 8.5 points and 2.3 rebounds.
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