Widow of Gillette Stadium heart attack victim sues NFL

A once in a lifetime experience turned into a deadly encounter for a longtime New England Patriots fan in September 2010.

The Massachusetts man and his young son — who is named after former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi — were among the first fans to arrive at Gillette Stadium for the home opener when game officials invited the son to take photos and run on the field before the game started.

However, according to a lawsuit filed by the man’s wife, a security guard confronted the man about his son’s presence on the field, and because of stress caused by that confrontation, the man returned to his seat and suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last month, the man’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her son against the National Football League and three other parties, including the security guard who confronted her husband.

The lawsuit states that the security guard ” inappropriately and unnecessarily” confronted the man and his son in a “harsh, unprofessional, confrontational, disrespectful and antagonistic manner.”

The confrontation, which lasted longer than 15 minutes, resulted in “agitation and stress” that contributed to the man’s fatal heart attack, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit blames the defendants, who also include the operator of Gillette Stadium and the stadium’s security provider, for negligently failing to properly train and supervise the security guard and failing to provide a safe sporting venue for fans.

The lawsuit, which suggests that a “relationship between stress and sudden death has long been recognized,” seeks more than $10 million in damages.

When a person is killed as a result of negligence in Massachusetts, his or her family may be entitled to damages. The plaintiffs in these cases carry the burden of proving that negligence did, in fact, adequately contribute to the death.

Source: The Republican, “Kimberly Chartier of Chicopee sues New England Patriots, NFL, in wake of husband’s fatal heart attack in 2010 at Foxborough,” Buffy Spencer, Aug. 20, 2013