Attorneys Brian Panish and Robert Glassman of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, Steve Yerrid of The Yerrid Law Firm, and Jeffrey D. Murphy obtained a $4.75 million settlement for the family of Ted Agu, a 21-year-old student-athlete who passed away on the Berkeley campus during a football workout on February 7, 2014. The Agu family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against The Regents of the University of California in August 2014 alleging that the university subjected Agu to a conditioning drill that was too extreme given his known sickle cell trait and then failed to come to his immediate assistance when he began showing symptoms of the sickling process.
“This is an excellent outcome, allowing the Agu family to avoid reliving their pain in a trial.” said Brian Panish. “The outcome also acknowledges that Ted’s incredible life and spirit has and will continue to make difference.”
As part of the settlement agreement, the University will continue implementing changes to further protect its student athletes, including those who have sickle cell trait. In addition, the University has agreed to maintain a memorial of Ted Agu in the football locker room.
“The University is glad to have reached a resolution with the Agu family, as it has been a difficult process for everyone involved,” said UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof. “Now UC Berkeley can continue to focus its energies on enhancing the safety and well-being of student-athletes.”
Since Ted Agu’s death, UC Berkeley has further strengthened its safety protocols for student-athletes by enhancing training for coaches and conditioning staff, instituting new student-athlete medical screening protocols and requiring additional oversight of workout plans, among other measures.
The settlement comes nearly three months after the university admitted that its negligence was a significant factor in Ted’s death and puts an end to a tragic chapter for both the Agu family and the University, allowing all parties to find some closure and move forward.
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