University to Pay $14M to Family of Wrestler Who Died of Heat Stroke After Practice

According to the lawsuit, Grant Brace begged for water, but his coaches refused his request and didn’t contact the trainer or emergency medical staff.

University to Pay $14M to Family of Wrestler Who Died of Heat Stroke After Practice

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The University of the Cumberlands has agreed to pay more than $14 million to the family of a student wrestler who died from heat stroke only hours after a team practice.

According to the lawsuit, Grant Brace, 20, died on August 31, 2020 — the first day of training for the season. After practice, team members were told to sprint several times up and down a steep hill, called “punishment hill,” reports USA Today.

Brace completed several of the sprints before sitting down from exhaustion, reports ABC7NY. The coach at the time then threatened to kick him off the team, so he ran up the hill again. He then said he was done and couldn’t “do this anymore.”

He was also heard saying, “I need water, somebody help me,” reports the BBC. According to the lawsuit, witnesses said he was speaking gibberish and told them he felt like he was dying.

Brace begged for water, but his coaches refused his request and didn’t contact the trainer or emergency medical staff as his condition got worse. After he left practice, he tried to get a drink from a water fountain, but it wasn’t working. He was found collapsed a short while after that and 300 yards away. ABC7NY reports his coaches found him with his hands clenched in the grass and dirt.

The university junior had previously been diagnosed with ADHD and narcolepsy, so he took medication that required him to be properly hydrated, especially when he was exercising.

Brace’s family claimed in the lawsuit that his death was completely preventable.

The University of the Cumberlands has agreed to pay $14,121,699 to the family, participate in heat-illness training, and help raise awareness of heat-related injuries. That being said, the school maintains it could have defeated the lawsuit if it had gone to trial.

In a statement about the tragedy and settlement, university chancellor Jerry Jackson said, “We sincerely hope that resolving this matter early in the legal process will offer the Brace family a measure of peace and healing.”

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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