Aug. 15, 2005
CBS wire reports

CHICAGO -- A judge approved a $16 million settlement of a lawsuit on Monday that calls for Northwestern University to pay the family of a football player who collapsed and died during practice four years ago.


Rashidi Wheeler's mother, Linda Will, who has objected to settling the case, filed an appeal to the order.

In the court order, Circuit Judge Kathy M. Flanagan wrote that she approved the settlement to protect the interests of Wheeler's three half brothers, all of whom are minors. Flanagan wrote that if Will was the only plaintiff in the case, she would have the right to reject any settlement.

Will said the settlement was unjust and she expected the ruling to be overturned.

Wheeler, 22, collapsed in August 2001 after participating in a conditioning drill. His parents sued the school, claiming officials did not give their son, an asthmatic, timely or adequate medical treatment.

Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said in a statement that the school agreed to the settlement to end the legal battle.

The Associated Press News Service

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