Maryland reaches settlement with family of Jordan McNair in relation to 2018 death of former Terps player


NCAA Football: Maryland at Wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

The University of Maryland has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with the family of the late Jordan McNair. McNair, a member of Maryland’s football team, was 19 years old when he died in June 2018 after suffering exertional heatstroke during a team workout. The settlement is expected to be approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works in a meeting on Jan. 27.

“[Jordan McNair’s parents Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson] are relieved that this fight is over and to put this behind them as they continue to mourn Jordan’s death,” said the family’s attorney, Hassan Murphy, in a statement. “They are committed to channeling their grief and loss into the work that remains to protect the lives of student-athletes around the world by educating them about the signs and risks of exertional heat stroke.”

Maryland law has a cap of $2 million for wrongful death claims, but the settlement between the McNairs and Maryland covers all claims, including those against any potential individuals involved in the case, which allows the settlement to reach as high as $3.5 million.

Following McNair’s death, school officials acknowledged that Maryland’s medical staff failed to properly diagnose McNair’s heatstroke and treat the situation. Maryland’s medical staff never took McNair’s temperature. It also did not ice his body to lower his body temperature, which is a step that can significantly reduce the likelihood of death. Records also show that more than an hour passed between the time McNair experienced the first symptoms and the school called 911. He would die 15 days later.

McNair’s death would ultimately lead to the dismissal of coach D.J. Durkin, who was initially reinstated to the job by Maryland President Wallace Loh after the school’s Board of Regents recommended it. Durkin would only be dismissed after players walked out of a team meeting following his return and the school received backlash from students and state lawmakers.

Durkin is currently the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach on Lane Kiffin’s staff at Ole Miss.





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