The family of a Memphis Fire Department recruit who spent eight weeks in a coma following a training exercise known as “hell night” has settled a lawsuit with the city.
43-year-old James Coleman suffered permanent brain injury after he collapsed October 12th, 2004, following a series of exercises. Six other dehydrated recruits were sent to hospitals that night.
Coleman and others were made to carry a hose up four flights of stairs, chop wood with an ax and swing a sledge hammer on a rubber mat. They also walked a mile with a 40-pound hose pack — twice, if anyone dropped a hose — and if they were too slow, they had to drop for push-ups.
Coleman and his family settled their federal lawsuit this week with the city. As part of the settlement, he’ll receive $450,000 over four years.
City officials admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement and said they chose to resolve the claims to avoid incurring additional expenses brought by the litigation.