An attorney representing the family of Randall Heffron, a 20-year-old Wofford College tennis player who choked to death in his dorm room last year, confirmed Friday that he was investigating whether the family should pursue legal action because of the young man's death.
"I am investigating the potential for legal action on behalf of the Estate
against Wofford, EMS and Spartanburg Regional, but no final decision on
filing suit or who the parties would be has been made at this time," said Frederick Jekel, a Mount Pleasant attorney.
Heffron, a Mount Pleasant native who stood out as a tennis player while at Bishop England High School at Daniel Island, died Sept. 10, 2011, when he choked on pizza he'd been eating with friends. The coroner later revealed that a vomiting episode may have led to Heffron's aspiration of the food. Heffron had a .253 blood alcohol level, more then three times the state's legal definition of intoxication.
Still, Heffron's mother, Robin, has made it clear that she thought there were crucial missteps made during the emergency treatment of her son that night. Among them was the presumption that Heffron's loss of conciousness on the night of his death was brought on solely by acute intoxication, rather than the actual cause — airway obstruction. The audio from a 911 call made by a Wofford College police officer confirms authorities who first encountered Heffron believed he was suffering from alcohol-related distress.
Wofford College, Spartanburg Regional Medical Center and EMS have not yet responded to Patch's request for comment. No lawsuit has been filed at this time.