Details of settlement in O'Neal lawsuit released - KMOV.com

Details of settlement in O'Neal lawsuit released

COLUMBIA (KMOV)-- Boone County Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler approved the settlement of the three-and-one-half year wrongful death suit filed by the family of MU football player Aaron O'Neal.

Aaron O'Neal's family will receive a $2 million financial settlement with $600,000 paid directly from the university, according to a news release from the University of Missouri.

All 14 defendants named in the case, including football head coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mike Alden will be dismissed.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the University of Missouri will establish a $250,000 ensowed scholarship fund in O'Neal's memory.

Attorneys for the O'Neal family could not be reached for comment on the terms of the settlement.

O'Neal, 19, died after collapsing during a voluntary workout in July 2005. While the Boone County Medical Examiner's office stated that O'Neal's cause of death was viral meningitis, O'Neal's father, Lonnie O'Neal, sued 14 defendants from the MU Athletic Department.

""From the moment we lost Aaron, our primary concern was always for his family and for us to do what's right for them," Pinkel said. "I've always understood through this whole process that they were doing what they had to do, and all we could focus on was honoring Aaron and what he meant to our program."

Since O'Neal's death, the athletic department has remembered O'Neal in many ways, including the No. 25 painted on the sidelines of Faurot Field. During what would have been O'Neal's senior season, the senior members of the football team took turns wearing his jersey during home games.

Had a settlement not been reached, the wrongful death lawsuit would have gone to trial in May.

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