$14M settlement reached in college wrestler death
WILLIAMSBURG, Kentucky. The University of Kentucky has agreed to pay more than $14 million following the death of a student wrestler hours after training, the institution said.
The death settlement for 20-year-old Grant Brace of Louisville, Tennessee, includes an agreement with Cumberland University to participate in a heat management training program and raise awareness of heat-related injuries, the university said Wednesday. in a statement.
Brace’s death on August 31, 2020 from heatstroke after asking for water and being denied “was a tragedy and entirely avoidable,” news outlets reported, citing the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Brace was diagnosed with narcolepsy and ADHD and was prescribed Adderall, which requires him to stay hydrated.
He died during the wrestling team’s first training day of the season. After practice, the team had to run up and down a steep hill several times, and Brace completed several before sitting down from exhaustion. The coach threatened to kick Brace off the wrestling team, so he ran uphill again and was later heard saying, “I’m done. I can no longer do this,” the lawsuit says.
He asked for water and his condition continued to worsen, but the trainers would not provide water or contact the trainer or the ambulance staff, the lawsuit says. Brace left and tried to drink from an open fountain that didn’t work. He also tried to enter the building, but failed and fainted. About 45 minutes later, coaches found him dead with his hands clenched in the grass and mud, according to the lawsuit.
The university said in a statement that it believes it can defend the claims made in the lawsuit, but litigation would be long and costly.
“The University has made the decision to resolve the case now in a way that it hopes will respect the enormous loss of the Brace family,” the statement said.
It states that the safety of students and athletes is a top priority and “welcomes the opportunity to work with the Brace family counselor to ensure the safest possible environment for student athletes in all sports.”