Jan 13, 2016
Iowa Rhabdo Lawsuit Settled

Nearly five years after 13 of its football players landed in the hospital with exertional rhabdomyolysis, the University of Iowa is settling a lawsuit resulting from the incident. Former Hawkeye William Lowe sued the program, with claims of negligence in developing and implementing a “dangerous, improper training program.” Although athletic trainers and coaches were cleared of wrongdoing related to this incident, recommendations to discontinue the workout and find better ways of identifying players with health complications were adopted by the university.

An article in the Miami Herald reports that court officials were notified of a settlement of $15,000 by a university lawyer. The lawsuit claims that coaches and athletic trainers did not supervise a high-intensity workout that occurred in January 2011, in which players’ mental toughness, physical stamina, and desire to be on the team were tested.

As part of the workout, players completed 100 back squats at 50 percent of their most recent personal best. According to Lowe’s suit, players were required to complete additional workouts the following days, despite reporting pain in his legs, stiffness, abnormally dark urine, and extreme fatigue—all symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, which is the result of muscles breaking down and releasing proteins into the blood.

Along with the settlement, the university paid some of Lowe’s hospital and medical expenses and allowed him to keep his scholarship after leaving the team. Lowe’s attorney, Brian Galligan, told the Miami Herald that Lowe is satisfied with the resolution of the case.

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