GARDEN CITY — Garden City Community College (GCCC) has reached a settlement with the family and estate of Braeden Bradforth, a former GCCC student athlete who passed away following an intensive pre-season football team workout.


"We continue to extend our deepest condolences to Braeden’s family and friends – there is no comparison to the grief and sorrow they have experienced over the last two years," GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda said. "It is the hope of college leaders, including myself, that the settlement will offer some respite to Braeden’s loved ones who have suffered the most from his untimely passing."


Dr. Ruda said college leadership has been diligent in working with all parties involved to come to the mutually agreed settlement, which was recently approved by a court.


To honor Braeden’s life and his memory, a memorial tree, with a plaque at its base, is planned for a yet-to-be-determined location on campus later this fall, Dr. Ruda also indicated.


In November 2019, GCCC released an external independent investigation report to Braeden’s family and the public.


The external investigation was conducted by Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP, a law firm with offices nationwide, and Rod Walters of Walters, Inc., a nationally recognized leader in the athletic training profession.


In response to that investigation, the college has taken, and continues to take, multiple steps and actions to proactively improve processes and protocols that positively impact student athletics. Those changes or improvements include renovation and updates to athletic training facilities at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex and a second on-site facility adjacent to Broncbuster Stadium that are almost complete and will be ready for student training and use in the Fall 2020.


A Sports Medicine Advisory Team has also been established. This group was established Aug. 20, 2018 and meets monthly. Topics of discussion include practice and game coverage, cleanliness of athletic training rooms, CPR and first aid training, emergency action plans, checklist of items for football practice, injury reporting, and physicals.


Other steps and actions related to the suit have also been established as college continues to strive towards producing positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society.