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Ex-USC football player drops suit against school; settlement is said to have been reached

Former USC football player Brian Baucham has dropped his lawsuit against USC and former coach Lane Kiffin. The suit claimed Baucham was forced to play in a game while experiencing complications from a concussion, leaving him with cardiopulmonary damage and a brain injury.

The parties reached a settlement, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously because the deal was to remain confidential.

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Baucham's attorney, Bruce Brusavich, could not be reached for comment. Brusavich filed a document seeking dismissal of the case on April 5.

Baucham, who graduated from West Torrance High, played cornerback for USC from 2008 to 2012.

According to the lawsuit, Baucham sustained a concussion in 2012 and was subsequently cleared to play. On Sept. 20, 2012, two days before a game against California, Baucham claimed that he suffered from "high fever, chills and abdominal distress."

The next morning, the suit said, USC's health clinic diagnosed Baucham with "influenza-like illness, viral pharyngitis and dehydration." He had a fever of 103 degrees. The health clinic gave him medications and four liters of intravenous fluids.

"The medical staff told him that he was in no condition to play football that day or the following day," according to the suit.

The next day, the coaching staff directed him to play, the suit claimed. He played in the first half and was given additional intravenous fluids during halftime. During the fourth quarter, Baucham collapsed and was carted to the locker room to receive more intravenous fluids.

The suit said Baucham subsequently began coughing up blood and fluids and experienced a headache, blurred vision and trouble breathing, and  was taken by ambulance to USC Keck Medical Center.

According to the suit, a CT scan revealed Baucham "had sustained a brain injury and had bleeding into the brain," and the intravenous fluids had caused fluid to build up in his lungs.

Baucham was a fifth-year senior at the time of his injury and the suit claimed that USC tried to revoke his scholarship but the family successfully fought off the attempt until he graduated. He has not played football since the September 2012 game.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2014.

USC declined comment through a spokesman. Attorneys representing the university and Kiffin could not immediately be reached for comment.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden declined to comment on the case, citing privacy laws, but said in a statement, "I am confident that we provide excellent medical treatment to our student athletes and that their health is always our primary concern ahead of any athletic competition."

Staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.

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