Published: Oct 19, 2010 3:40 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 19, 2010 12:40 PM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a jury's verdict that the organizers of the 2006 Florida Ironman were not responsible for the death of a 35-year-old Montana man who collapsed during the race.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a ruling Monday affirming the jury's verdict in the case of Barney Rice, who died three days after collapsing during the 1.2 mile swim portion of the triathlon at Panama City Beach.

Rice's family sued North American Sports Inc. and USA Triathlon for wrongful death, saying organizers didn't follow their own safety protocols.

But an eight-person jury ruled against Rice's family in July 2009, and the appeals court said it found no reason to overturn the ruling.