CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The family of a Daniel Island student has sued Wofford College, contending the school's campus security officers failed to properly react when the man choked to death on pizza.
The estate of Randall Heffron, 20, filed the suit in Spartanburg on Thursday. The estate is represented by Heffron's grandfather, who was appointed by Berkeley County Probate Court.
The sophomore was eating pizza with friends in Shipp Dormitory when his airway became blocked, officials said. The dorm resident adviser called campus security shortly before 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2011.
Heffron was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, the lawsuit says.
The school will not comment on the lawsuit, said Laura Corbin, a Wofford spokeswoman.
The suit says the campus security officers acted with gross negligence and recklessness and had negligent training and supervision. It seeks actual and punitive damages.
The suit alleges the two officers failed to ask Heffron's friends if he was choking, did not immediately evaluate him to determine if he had a clear airway, and failed to determine that Heffron was choking.
The school also charges that Wofford had a "duty to ensure that its campus safety officers were properly trained in basic life support, abdominal thrusts, rescue breathing and other proper responses to foreign body airway obstruction."
The coroner says Heffron had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.
The attorney for Heffron's estate, Fritz Jekel, said the reported blood alcohol level is questionable because it was taken five hours after he died. Once the body dies, it begins to make its own alcohol through decomposition, he said.