BERKELEY, Calif. (CN) – The family of a University of California, Berkeley football player who died during a workout in 2014 has reached a $4.75 million settlement with the UC system.
Ted Agu, a 21-year-old defensive lineman for the Golden Bears who had sickle-cell trait, died on Feb. 7, 2014 during a conditioning drill that his family said was “extremely intense and egregiously inappropriate, given his medical condition” in their August 2014 lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court.
UC Berkeley has acknowledged liability for Agu’s death, calling negligence by university officials “a substantial factor” in leading to the tragedy.
The university did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on Friday afternoon, but a representative said in a statement cited by The San Francisco Chronicle that “the university is glad to have reached a resolution with the Agu family, as it has been a difficult process for everyone involved.”
Brian Panish, one of the Agu family’s attorneys, told Courthouse News that the settlement’s terms require more oversight of athletic strength and conditioning programs, as well as more education about the sickle-cell trait for the team’s coaches and doctors.
“The family’s biggest concern was that they didn’t want anyone to have to through what they went through,” Panish said.
“It’s something that we and they believe could quite easily have been prevented.”
Panish added that “we’re all hoping that other schools will take this as a kind of guideline or blueprint.”
“Strength and conditioning is important in athletics, but there’s a line and you don’t want to cross it,” he said. “In this case it got to a point that it never should have gotten to.”
Panish is with Panish Shea & Boyle in Los Angeles.
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