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Judge upholds $10M football death award

Aug. 3, 2011 at 1:16 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The University of Central Florida Athletics Association must pay $10 million for a football player's death, a judge says.

Orange County Circuit Judge Robert Evans denied the UCFAA's motion for a new trial, a reversal of the verdict or a reduction of the jury award in Orlando Tuesday.

On June 30, a jury found UCFAA negligent in the death of Ereck Plancher, 19, during a 2008 off-season workout and awarded his parents $10 million.

"I don't second-guess juries unless there simply is no evidence on which they could have based their verdict," Evans said.

The judge also ruled the Planchers' attorneys can recover court costs and legal fees from UCFAA because they made a $4.75 million settlement offer that UCFAA spurned before the trial, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Evans also rejected defense claims that he presided unfairly over the trial.

Plancher family attorney Steve Yerrid said fees and interest would bring UCFAA's bill to nearly $14 million.

A UCF spokesman said: "We will consider all of our options, including seeking a just and fair appellate review."

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