WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — University of the Cumberlands has reached a settlement with the family of Grant Brace, a member of the men’s wrestling team who passed away due to heat-illness on August 31, 2020, a few hours after on-campus workouts.
The settlement includes monetary payments exceeding $14 million, the university’s agreement to 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.
Addressing the settlement, University Chancellor Jerry Jackson said: “Grant was a talented, well- liked young man entering his junior year with a bright future ahead of him. Our University community continues to mourn his untimely loss. We sincerely hope that resolving this matter early in the legal process will offer the Brace family a measure of peace and healing.”
The safety of the University’s students and athletes has been and always will be the top priority of the University. As it has in the past, the University will continue to ensure that its athletic department protocols, including those addressing heat-illness, remain aligned with NAIA standards. The University welcomes the opportunity to work with the Brace family’s consultant to ensure it is providing the safest environment possible for student-athletes in all sports.
The University 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. The University made the decision to settle the case now in a manner it hopes will respect the Brace family’s tremendous loss.