Ted Agu (far right) with his brothers and sisters.
Family Handout via SFGate
After months of negotiations and litigation, the University of California and the family of university football player Ted Agu who died after a team drill in 2014, has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $4.75 million, SFGate reports.
Agu, then 21, died shortly after an off-season conditioning workout outside the Memorial Stadium. His parents filed a lawsuit claiming that the defensive lineman and pre-med student should have never been allowed to do such a strenuous workout because he carried sickle cell trait, a condition which univeristy doctors and coaches knew about.
The university admitted liability in the young man’s death three months ago, with UC attorneys acknowledging that negligence by university officials was “a substantial factor,” to the Agu’s death, and that no one else, not even Agu himself, was responsible. SFGate notes that experts believe the sickle cell trait can lead to death under extreme exertion.
“The University is glad to have reached a resolution with the Agu family, as it has been a difficult process for everyone involved,” Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman, said in a statement.
As a part of the settlement, health and safety reforms are now guaranteed for school athletes at Berkeley, even though school officials said that they were sharing the standards with athletic departments at other campuses as well.
Coaches are not permitted to use “high-risk physical activity,” as punishment, and superiors will review workout and conditioning plans. Coaches and team doctors were also mandated to increase their education of the sickle cell trait, and other complications that can come from it.
“We were never going to accept just money,” Steve Yerrid, one of the attorneys representing Agu’s family, said, according to SFGate. “The most unnatural act in the world is for a parent to bury their child.”
A memorial dispaly for Agu in the university team’s home locker room will also be kept in tact permanently, and will also ensure that workouts will be conducted only when staffers have direct line of sight to athletes.