Reported by April Taylor
Solomon Simmons is reporting that the family of Ted Agu has filed a wrongful deαth lawsuit for his deαth following a training run at the University of California. Agu played football for the school, and the suit is being filed against the Regents of the University of California and specifically cites “reckless and negligent behavior” on the part of Cal football trainers and coaches. Agu’s family believes the staff were negligent for “subjecting Agu to a lethαl conditioning drill for a player with known sickle cell trait.”
A shocking component of the case is the University of California’s decision to hire associate athletic trainer Robert Jackson. Jackson had previously been a trainer at Central Florida and was present when UCF football player Ereck Plancher dropped dead following a training session he was supervising in 2008. Both players had sickle cell trait. The fact that Jackson had previous experience with a player dying during conditioning who had sickle cell trait and the fact that he was the most experienced trainer present at the time of the exercise Agu participated in leads the family to believe the University of California was negligent in their decision to hire him and in their allowing him to conduct the training session that resulted in Agu’s death.
Agu’s family is being represented by attorneys Brian Panish and C. Steven Yerrid. Panish reports that the family is seeking “substantial” damages for the UC’s negligence in Agu’s death. While the university maintains that Agu collapsed around 7am on February 7 following an ordinary training excercise and that CPR was administered after which he was pronounced dead at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Agu’s family is alleging a different version of events. Yerrid states, “That story [that it was an ordinary training run] is totally erroneous and factually flawed. It wasn’t an ordinary workout. It was an extraordinary workout that they’d never done before.”