Grant Brace’s family, University of the Cumberlands settle wrongful death lawsuit

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) — The family of a former University of the Cumberlands wrestler who died during an on-campus workout settled their lawsuit with the school Wednesday.

As part of the settlement, the university agreed to pay the family of Grant Brace an amount “exceeding $14 million,” according to a press release. The university will also “engage in a heat-illness training project to be conducted by a nationally recognized expert in the field, and promotion of the Brace family’s ongoing work to help raise awareness of heat-related injuries.”

Brace died on Aug. 31, 2020, in what the lawsuit called a “grueling wrestling practice” and “punishment hill” sprints.

The school and staff didn’t provide Brace medical attention when he became disoriented and after being told to “get out” of the locker room, he was found dead from apparent heat stroke outside a construction fence on campus, the lawsuit claimed.

Addressing the settlement, Chancellor Jerry Jackson said Brace was a “talented, wellliked young man entering his junior year with a bright future ahead of him” and he hopes that resolving “this matter early in the legal process” offers the Brace family “peace and healing.”

The university added it believed it “could defend the claims asserted in the lawsuit, but the legal process would have been long, difficult, and costly, ending years from now in a trial with an uncertain outcome.”

Brace came to Cumberlands from Alcoa High School in Tennessee where he wrestled and was a member of the school’s three-time state champion football team and the National Honors Society. Brace suffered from narcolepsy and ADHD, and his high school made accommodations for his conditions in both academics and sports, the lawsuit states.

The university promised similar steps but never came through, the lawsuit alleged, further contributing to the death.


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