The County of Frederick has agreed to pay $300,000 to the family of a firefighter trainee who died from heatstroke after an outdoor workout in July 2002 at the Public Safety Training Center in Frederick. In addition to the financial settlement, the County has agreed to place a plaque in memory of Andrew Waybright, the trainee who died. The $3 million lawsuit had alleged that the County failed to recognize the symptoms of hyperthermia and failed to timely administer first aid. According to allegations within the suit, Mr. Waybright’s body temperature upon arrival at the hospital was 107.4 degrees. The case was set for a two week jury trial in August of this year.
Municipalities usually enjoy limited sovereign immunity from lawsuits. The Maryland General Assembly also has enacted local tort legislation that places caps on the amount negligence victims may recover. A survival claim was brought on behalf of the estate of Andrew Waybright; wrongful death claims were brought by his surviving heirs. Frederick County had engaged outside counsel to represent it. The settlement was reached after a seven hour mediation session.