MINNEAPOLIS – A settlement has been reached in the final lawsuit stemming from the heat stroke death of Minnesota Vikings lineman Korey Stringer 10 years ago, his family announced Monday.
Terms of the settlement between Stringer's widow, Kelci Stringer, and Chicago-based helmet and shoulder pads-maker Riddell Inc. were not disclosed, said James Gould, who was Korey Stringer's agent and serves as a family spokesman.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Ohio in 2003, alleged Riddell failed to warn players and coaches that wearing its helmets and shoulder pads in hot temperatures could be dangerous. The family reached separate settlements earlier with the NFL and other defendants.
Korey Stringer died Aug. 1, 2001, after collapsing on a sweltering day in training camp in Mankato. His death prompted teams to monitor their players more closely during the hot weather and long practices typical of August training camps.
Gould said the final settlement culminates a decade of work to make some good come from Stringer's death. Kelci Stringer founded the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut — with help from the NFL, Gatorade and the NFL Players Association — as his legacy to raise awareness of how to prevent heat-related illnesses in sports.
"It's been 10 long years for everybody involved, so I'm just happy today that it's all been resolved," Gould said.
Kelci Stringer's attorney, Paul De Marco, was traveling Monday but said in a statement that young athletes continue to needlessly die from heat-related illnesses. He said she'll continue working through the institute to rid sports of the problem.
Riddell spokeswoman Laura Moore issued a statement saying only: "All matters in this case have been resolved confidentially."
Korey Stringer Institute: http://www.ksi.uconn.edu