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

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.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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