NCAA Sickle Cell Settlement

The Lanier Law Firm negotiated a settlement for the family of a former Rice University student-athlete in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that will help save college athletes’ lives for years to come. Media outlets across the globe reported the historic settlement, including USA Today and Sports Illustrated, among others.

The Lanier Law Firm represented the family of Dale Lloyd II, a 19-year old student who died in September 2006 following practice with the Rice University football team. Medical examiners ruled that his death was caused by “acute exertional rhabdomyolysis secondary to sickle cell trait.” Neither Mr. Lloyd nor his family knew that Mr. Lloyd carried the sickle cell trait, and the NCAA did not require testing for the trait in 2006 despite numerous reports of other deaths attributed to the condition. As a result of the litigation and settlement, the NCAA agreed for the first time to include in the NCAA Website and the NCAA Sports Medical Handbook a recommendation that university athletic departments test all athletes for the sickle cell trait. The NCAA also agreed to insert a “Point of Emphasis” regarding sickle cell testing in its Football Rulebook in conjunction with a press conference to highlight the policy change. In addition, the NCAA is producing an educational video for coaches, athletic trainers and student athletes about the dangers of the sickle cell trait, and providing a $50,000 donation to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and a $10,000 donation to the Dale R. Lloyd II Scholarship Fund. The firm has contributed $20,000 to the scholarship fund in recognition of the Lloyd family.

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