The Story of Jordan McNair: A Baltimore Tragedy

On June 13, 2018, 19-year-old Jordan McNair passed away as a result of heatstroke during a school football team workout two weeks prior. He was a talented young athlete who played as an offensive lineman for the University of Maryland. Jordan’s family and friends remember his “genuine and endearing smile,” as well as his outstanding work ethic and competitive drive. Now, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy is representing Jordan’s grieving family in a wrongful death lawsuit in Baltimore.

Jordan McNair: Who Was He?

Young Mr. Jordan McNair was a universally popular student-athlete who had a lot going for him. Accounts of Jordan from those who knew him best describe him as “funny,” “the best person he could be to anyone,” a “tireless worker,” “motivated,” “committed,” “energetic,” “easygoing,” “down to earth,” “humble,” and a “gentle giant.” Jordan worked hard on and off the field, making the honor roll as well as the University of Maryland’s football team. As of team practice in April, Jordan was on the roster to take the position of second left tackle on the depth chart.

It’s clear from talking to anyone who knew him that Jordan had a bright future ahead of him. At just 19, Jordan had already accomplished many incredible feats. His passion for everything he did set him apart from others, helping him make great strides at such a young age. His teammates found inspiration in Jordan’s spirit, wide smile, and work ethic. These are lessons that will not fade after Jordan’s passing. He left behind a legacy for his teammates, friends, and relatives. Now, the task is to bring justice to Jordan’s family.

Preventable Injuries and Deaths on School Sports Fields

Jordan McNair collapsed on the University of Maryland’s outdoor practice fields on May 29, 2018. At the time of his collapse, the outdoor temperatures were approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Jordan and his teammates were participating in an organized team practice under the supervision of the school’s strength and conditioning staff, which began around 4:15 in the afternoon. Jordan, a six-foot-four, 325-pound male, showed signs of distress during a grueling conditioning test which consisted of ten 110 yard sprints. He was unable to complete the test under his own power and had to be carried through the finish line by two of his teammates.

The school transported Jordan to the indoor facility after his collapse on the field. Around 6:00 p.m., paramedics airlifted Jordan to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He received a liver transplant and fought for his life. On June 13, 2018, Jordan passed away as a result the circumstances surrounding his final practice. The official cause of his death was determined to be heatstroke. The day Jordan collapsed was one of the hottest day of the year thus far, with 70% humidity and no wind factor. Several of his teammates witnessed Jordan’s symptoms of heatstroke and distress before his collapse. The preliminary findings of several investigations into what actually occurred that fateful day has spurned the University of Maryland to accept full legal and moral liability for Jordan’s untimely death.

Coach and Teacher Legal Liabilities to Student-Athletes

Jordan McNair’s story will not end with his unexpected and tragic death. His family is seeking answers, justice, and restitution for Jordan’s passing with legal representation from Murphy, Falcon & Murphy. School sports coaches owe athletes and students many legal and ethical responsibilities. These include a duty not to overwork athletes, not to neglect student wellness, and to take proper action when athletes show signs of injuries or illnesses.

As more details of Jordan McNair’s story and legal case unfold, the Baltimore wrongful death lawyers of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy ask that the Baltimore community keep Jordan’s family in their thoughts and prayers. We will passionately advocate for Jordan’s cause, seeking justice for a remarkable young man who’s death was completely preventable.