NBA and Pistons sued by mother of deceased player

On March 24, during an NBA G League game, 26-year-old Zeke Upshaw collapsed as he played for the Grand Rapids Drive.  Two days later, Upshaw passed away, and now his mother is looking for restitution.  She has filed a lawsuit against the NBA and the Detroit Pistons, of which the Drive is an affiliate team. 

Upshaw’s mother, Jewel, alleges that medical personnel at the game were negligent and didn’t perform potentially lifesaving measures in a timely manner.  The doctor for the Drive, admits that he had left before the end of the game and wasn’t present when Upshaw collapsed.  Jewel Upshaw contends that the league doesn’t do enough to protect players from sudden cardiac arrest.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, is seeking a jury trial and targets the NBA, the Pistons, SSJ Group, which owns the team, and the DeltaPlex Arena.  In a news conference held by Jewel Upshaw, she said, "As heartbroken as I am, I just want for the next occurrence that may happen to some other kid on the court, for the response to be immediate."

In a statement published by the NBA yesterday, the league commented, "The NBA family continues to mourn the tragic passing of Zeke Upshaw.  We received a copy of the complaint and are reviewing it."

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