Current And Former NFL Members To Lobby Lawmakers For Devaughn Darling Claims Bill

Jan 29, 2016

Devaughn Darling died in 2001following a collapse after an early morning football practice.
Credit Florida State University

Two Democratic lawmakers are pitching a claims bill for a former Florida State University football player who died 15 years ago. Tampa Senator Arthenia Joyner and Jacksonville Representative Mia Jones say it’s time to pass a claims bill for Devaughn Darling’s family.

Darling died 15 years ago after a grueling early morning practice session in a hot gym. Just prior to his death, he had complained of chest pains, and trouble seeing. Three years later, Florida State University reached a settlement agreement of 2-million dollars with Darling’s family. But state law only allows schools to pay $200,000—the rest has to be awarded by the legislature through a claims bill.

Two years ago, SB Nation profiled the case.

The Right Thing To Do vs. The State of Florida

Darling's claims bill has languished in the twelve years since the settlement.

Jacksonville Democratic Representative Mia Jones and Tampa Senator Arthenia Joyner say justice has been denied in Darling’s case. They are sponsors of a claims bill for Darling’s family that hasn’t received a hearing.

Next week, several of Darling’s former teammates, many of them current and former NFL players, will present their case for passage of the claims bill. Devaughn Darling’s identical twin brother will also attend.