Grant Brace death: University of the Cumberlands agrees to settlement after wrestler dies of heat stroke after begging for water
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — A Kentucky university has agreed to a settlement of more than $14 million following the death of a student wrestler hours after practice, the school said.
The settlement regarding the death of junior Grant Brace, 20, of Louisville, Tennessee, includes an agreement for the University of the Cumberlands to participate in a heat-related illness training program and help raise awareness of heat-related injuries. heat, the university said Wednesday. in a report.
Brace’s death on August 31, 2020, from heatstroke after asking for water and being refused “was tragic and entirely preventable,” news outlets reported, citing the lawsuit.
“They did it and didn’t care,” Grant’s father, Kyle Brace, told Good Morning America. “They didn’t care.”
“Ultimately it killed him,” said his mother, Jackie Brace.
Brace was diagnosed with narcolepsy and ADHD and was prescribed Adderall which requires maintaining hydration, according to the lawsuit.
He died on the wrestling team’s first day of practice of the season. After practice, the team had to sprint up and down a steep hill several times and Brace completed several before sitting down from exhaustion. The then coach threatened to kick Brace out of the wrestling team, so he ran up the hill again and was then heard saying “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore”, said the lawsuit.
He asked for water and his condition continued to deteriorate, but the coaches did not provide water or contact the coach or emergency medical personnel, according to the lawsuit. Brace left and tried to drink from an outdoor water fountain that didn’t work.
Surveillance video shared by the family’s attorney with ABC News shows Brace struggling to open a locked door to the wrestling building. About an hour later, he was found collapsed about 300 meters away, not far from a non-functioning water fountain.
About 45 minutes later, trainers found him dead with his hands clenched in the grass and dirt, according to the lawsuit.
“He was on all fours, and he had his hands stuck in the dirt, and he had handfuls of dirt,” his father said. “It’s too late.”
A series of voice memos left on Brace’s phone played a role in the incident, documenting further alleged mistreatment by the wrestling department from a previous season.
He can be heard saying, “Grant’s daily blog for mom and dad, in case something bad happens to me.”
“You started seeing a picture of it wasn’t just an incident gone wrong,” family attorney Jamie Moncus said. “He was a model.”
The university said in a statement that it believed it could defend the claims made in the lawsuit, but the legal process would have been lengthy and expensive.
“The University has made the decision to settle the matter now in a way that it hopes will respect the tremendous loss of the Brace family,” the statement read.
He said the safety of students and athletes is a top priority and that he “welcomes the opportunity to work with the Brace family consultant to ensure they provide the safest environment possible. student-athletes in all sports”.
Brace’s parents said the settlement was not about money, but about accountability from the university.
ABC News’ Em Nguyen contributed to this report.