Recruit sues Marines over heat stroke during training

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 1, 2010, 7:16am

SHERMAN-A Marine recruit is suing his recruiters and the U.S. Marine Corps after he suffered a heat stroke during what he claims was vigorous physical activity in extreme heat conditions.

Zachary Ryan Snow filed suit against the U.S. Marine Corps and recruiters Sgt. Compton and Sgt. Esquibel on June 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Snow entered the USMC's Delayed Entry/Enlistment Program on Oct. 10, 2008. The program has a nonpay status and Snow was not entitled to any benefits or privileges.

Under the supervision of the Marine Corps, Snow participated in vigorous physical activity and instruction on July 9, 2009, in Denton.

"The temperature in Denton reached or exceeded 100 degrees Farenheit that day," the suit states.

Due to the high temperature, Snow claims he suffered a massive heat stroke and liver damage and had to be hospitalized.

The defendants are accused of negligence by violating the Marine's Operational Risk Management and Heat Injury Prevention Program.

Snow alleges the Corps subjected him to physical risk without properly determining his condition for strenuous physical activity, failed to provide adequate cool fresh water, failed to provide a safety vehicle or medical personnel at the physical training site and failed to provide adequate communications capabilities for emergency contact.

According to the suit, the incident did not occur on military property, Snow did not receive any compensation or benefits from the USMC and the USMC did not pay any of the medical bills Snow incurred due to the incident.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, pain, suffering, physical impairment, mental anguish, lost wages, interest, exemplary damages, and court costs.

Snow is represented by Dallas attorneys Evan Lane Shaw of Law Offices of Van Shaw and Colby Vokey of Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10-cv-00319

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