On Tuesday, the attorneys of Ted Agu's family officially filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the UC Regents. Attorneys are alleging that Cal was negligent in its supervision of his fatal training run on February 7th.
The attorneys are alleging that the university did have prior knowledge that Agu carried the sickle cell trait and did not do their best to respond accordingly. Protocols are supposed to be kept with regards to players who are known to carry the trait; the complaint contests that these protocols were not followed.
Mentioned in the case is Robert Jackson, the supervising athletic trainer. Jackson is still on staff with the Bears. He was also a trainer at UCF when Ereck Plancher collapsed and died in 2008. Also involved in the Plancher case is attorney Steve Yerrid, who also claims that Cal was negligent in hiring Jackson.
Agu, a fifth-year senior, died Feb. 7 following an offseason conditioning drill. The Alameda County (Calif.) coroner later determined Agu died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an excessive thickening of the heart muscle. However, the lawsuit alleges Cal coaches and trainers subjected Agu to a “lethal conditioning drill for a player with known sickle cell trait.”
The response from Cal Athletics:
Cal released this statement: "The members of our football family and our entire campus community remain deeply saddened by the loss of Ted Agu. We recognize how difficult this must be for the Agu family. We will continue to honor Ted in all we do. He will forever be a beloved member of our Golden Bear family.
"When Cal's medical staff on scene saw Ted show signs of problems, they reacted promptly. But as the Alameda County Coroner's report states, the cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which suggests there was little anyone could have done to save him.
"While we cannot discuss any student's specific medical history, we follow all recommended protocols, including those outlined by the NCAA, for all student-athletes with identified medical conditions. We want to make clear that we are committed to ensuring the care and safety of all our student-athletes, and we have great confidence in our athletic department's staff's ability to do so."
We will try and breakdown the lawsuit in further detail once we can obtain a copy of the full complaint.