Details Come on Stringer Death

In today's edition of the Los Angeles Times, a by-lined story leaves much of the blame for Korey Stringer's death at the doorstep of the Vikings.

Could Korey Stringer's death have been prevented? If you read a story on the subject in today's edition of the Los Angeles Times, you could be swayed into believing that the Vikings, while not directly responsible for Stringer dying, did little in the way of helping him.

When the case gets to court, the media itself may come under fire. As reported here after his death, Stringer was angered by a photo in the Star Tribune newspaper that showed him in the middle of vomiting on the opening day of practice and he vowed to finish the practice to show a sign of leadership with the other players.

Among the items in the story that leaves some serious questions to ponder:
* Stringer's locker was filled with dietary supplements including a couple that contain the herbal drug ephedra -- which was cited in three player deaths last year alone.
* An attorney for Kelci Stringer was quoted as saying if Stringer had been treated as well as farmers' cows in the Mankato area on July 31, he would still be alive today.
* The Vikings' "training room" -- an air-conditioned trailer which was said to be used for Vikings VIPs more than actual player medical needs, didn't have essentials like water for dehydrated players or even a thermometer.
* Former Viking Gabe Northern was quoted as saying trainer Fred Zamberletti, who initially thought the problem with Stringer may have been associated with a reaction to a bug bite, was prone to using home remedies instead of established medical techniques when it came to rehabbing players. In one bizarre section, Northern referred to the Vikings medical staff as being akin to TV's Beverly Hillbillies.
* Mike Tice found out Stringer was in the hospital more than an hour after he was taken away and became informed only when his wife called and said she had heard about an ambulance taking Stringer away by listening to KFAN Radio, which was broadcasting a live show from training camp.
* Kelci Stringer wasn't reached until five hours after Stringer was hospitalized and, while Randy Moss was able to arrange a chartered plane to get her to Minnesota from Atlanta, where she was visiting family, she didn't arrive in Mankato until an hour after Korey had died.

While many believed that the Vikings being cleared by OSHA for negligence leading to Stringer's death would mean that the family's lawsuit would go away, the Times' story reinforces the family's belief that his death may have been prevented. If the same facts are brought to a jury, the jurors will have a hard choice to make.

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