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Suit Against Broyles Reinstated

A divided state Supreme Court reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit that blames Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles for a football player’s suicide.

In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that a jury should decide whether Shannon Wright consumed a strong painkiller illegally dispensed by the university’s athletic department, and whether those drugs contributed to or caused his death.

Wright shot himself Oct. 13, 1993. His mother’s lawsuit claimed Broyles, Weber and others acted with malicious conduct that led to her son’s suicide.

The suit claims Wright had taken heavy doses of the painkiller Darvocet, supplied by the university’s training room, shortly before he shot himself. Some experts say Darvocet can have dangerous side effects for people suffering from depression, as Wright did.