School in Kentucky agrees to $14M settlement over wrestler who died

Xavier Roger


A Kentucky university has agreed to pay more than $14 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a wrestler who died after an on-campus workout.

The wrestler, Grant Brace, died in August 2020 after he and other members of the University of the Cumberlands wrestling team repeatedly sprinted up a hill as part of a “punishment practice,” according to the lawsuit filed by Brace’s parents and sister. Brace later complained of dehydration and died of exertional heat stroke. He was 20 years old.

The University of the Cumberlands, which competes in the NAIA, first announced the terms of the settlement in a statement Wednesday. It said it had agreed to participate in a training program and awareness campaign regarding the prevention of heat-related illnesses, in addition to compensating Brace’s family.

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

This photo provided by University of the Cumberlands shows Grant Brace. On Wednesday, March 16, 2023, the Kentucky university agreed to a settlement of more than $14 million over the death of Brace, a student wrestler who died during practice.

Brad Vines, an attorney for the family, said in a statement that the exact financial amount of the settlement is $14,121,699.

“It is important to the family that the amount of this settlement be known,” Vines said, “so that coaches and educational institutions understand the weight of ignoring heat-related illnesses.”


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