The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg was sued by the family of Grant Brace, who reportedly died while having an on-campus workout in wrestling. Instead of defending itself from the court, the university settled the case by paying $14 million.
$14 Million Settlement of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg
The Christian Post reported that at the time of his death, the student, Grant Brace, who was 20 years old and originally from Louisville, Tennessee, was enrolled as a junior at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. At wrestling practice on August 31, 2020, Brace suffered from a heat stroke and passed away. His family filed a lawsuit against the college, claiming that their son's death was tragic and completely avoidable.
Although the institution stated that it could defend itself against the case, it pointed out that the procedure would have been long, complex, and costly, culminating in a trial with an unclear outcome year from now.
Instead, the institution asserts that it settled the lawsuit in a way that it "hopes will respect the Brace family's tremendous loss." They agreed to participate in a "heat-illness training project" with a "nationally known authority in the field" as part of the $14 million settlement. Also, the school has committed to supporting the Brace family in its mission to educate others about the dangers of heat-related illnesses.
The university has issued a statement indicating that it will guarantee the practices of its sports department are in line with the criteria established by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for treating heat illness. It requires employees associated with NAIA Championship Events to be mindful of heat-related illness symptoms and comply with specific guidelines for scheduled water breaks. These guidelines vary by the degree of the temperature.
On the other hand, The University of Cumberlands maintains its tradition of making its liberal arts curriculum accessible to talented students from various cultural and religious backgrounds. The university is committed to achieving the highest possible standards in all it does and anticipates the same level of commitment from its students. In addition to its dedication to a strong academic program, the organization is also dedicated to cultivating its employees' solid work ethic. Students at the University of California are encouraged to think analytically and creatively to prepare them for responsible service and leadership lives.
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Tragic Death of Grant Brace
A report from the Lexington Herald-Leader stated that, according to the lawsuit, the wrestling team at the school started their practice on August 31, 2020, by running on a track led by then-head coach Jordan Countryman and assistant coach Jake Sinkovics. They were instructed to sprint seven times up and down "punishment hill," a high slope.
Based on the National Weather Service, the highest temperature that day was 83 degrees. It was recorded at the London-Corbin Airport, around 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the institution.
During the sprints, Brace paused and said he could not continue because he was weary. According to the claim, a coach named Jordan Countryman responded by telling the student that he had been dismissed from the team and should go back to the wrestling room. Brace restarted his sprint but suddenly announced that he could not go further.
After practice in the wrestling room, Brace allegedly lay on the wrestling mat and begged for water. However, the coaches yelled at students who tried to assist Brace, and when his mental health deteriorated, which is a symptom of heat stroke, the instructors told him to leave the wrestling room.
Brace left to seek help and find water. He dashed to an outdoor water fountain; unfortunately, it was broken. Also, he attempted to enter a building but was unsuccessful. According to the lawsuit, Brace passed away after collapsing. As mentioned, after Brace had been gone from the session for about 45 minutes, Countryman and Sinkovics started searching for him. Brace's body was discovered lying in the grass and mud with his hands tightly clasped together.
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Christian university agrees to pay $14M after student wrestler died begging for water https://t.co/X5jU4G5Uh1— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) March 21, 2023