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Settlement reached in NY teen athlete’s training drill death

March 4, 2021 GMT

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — The mother of a high school football player who died in New York after a 400-pound (181-kg) log fell on him during a military-style training drill has settled her lawsuit over the teen’s death for a seven-figure sum, according to her lawyers.

The family of 16-year-old Joshua Mileto, who was killed in the offseason training exercise in 2017, will use the settlement funds for academic and athletic scholarships in Mileto’s memory, Marcelo A. Buitrago, an attorney for the family, told Newsday.

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Some of the money will go toward advocacy for policies to tighten youth-sports safety regulations, Buitrago said.

“They don’t want anything from this. This was never about the money for them,” he said. “This was about preventing it from happening again.”

Mileto, of Farmingville on Long Island, was participating in an Aug. 10, 2017, football training camp at Sachem East High School when the massive log he was carrying with several teammates fell and hit him on the head. The 5-foot-6, 134-pound (1.7-meter, 60-kg) Mileto was declared dead at a hospital.

The lawsuit, filed by Mileto’s mother, Sayyida Lynn Archarski-Mileto, against Sachem Central School District and the Sachem East Touchdown Club, a booster group that sponsored the camp, alleged negligence and wrongful death. Details of the settlement reached last month are bound by a confidentiality agreement, Buitrago said.

School district superintendent Christopher J. Pellettieri said through a spokesperson: “The district was recently notified of a settlement agreement pertaining to this accident. Although this announcement signifies closure to the legal component of this tragedy, the grief, loss and continued efforts to heal and unite will remain for years to come.”

A separate lawsuit brought by families of players who saw Mileto die was dismissed by a state appeals court in 2019 on timeliness grounds.