Former band member receives 185,000 dollar award punishment given

September 21, 2018 - 2:54 pm


A former McKinley High Marching Band member was awarded 185,000 dollars for damages related to a 2015 incident where he required to do 200 pushups. The incident led to a five day stay in the hospital for Tristen Rushing due to his urine turning coke colored. Rushing family attorney Sean Fagan says that’s because the hyper exertion caused Rushing’s muscles to begin to die.

“They start to literally undergo necrosis, they release proteins and enzymes into the blood, which get into the kidney, causing your urine to go dark.”

Medical professionals who saw Rushing testified the injuries were potentially life threatening.

He was required to do the pushups in 15 minutes, about 13 pushups a minute. Fagan says the band director pressured his client into pushing himself too far as a punishment for tardiness.

“He was ordered to do 200 pushups in front of the entire band for being two minutes late, and the kid was late because he had met with one of his advanced English teachers.”

Fagan says the Rushing family hopes the settlement and public reaction to the event will send a message to other schools about disciplinary policies. He says in particular he hopes it sparks a policy shift from McKinley High administrators, who Fagan says backed the punishment at multiple levels.

“It was approved by the band director, and once it came to the attention of the principle, the principle was very dismissive of the family.”

The administration argued that the risk of injury was not reasonably foreseeable.

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