The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to deny legal claims from the parents of Braeden Bradforth, the 19-year-old incoming freshman who died suddenly in August 2018 following his first football practice at the school.

Sean Bradforth, Braeden Bradforth's father, was seeking legal compensation from the school in the amount of $40 million. Joanne Atkins-Ingram, Braeden Bradforth's mother, separately sought compensation in the amount of $10 million. Both parents had filed claims under the Kansas Tort Claims Act, alleging negligence by the school and its employees led to their son's premature death.

The GCCC board unanimously voted at its regular meeting Tuesday to deny those claims. Board chairman Blake Wasinger said the board acted on advice from its legal counsel.

"From what we understand," Wasinger said, "the notice of claims far exceeded the Kansas tort amount, and I believe the other parties wish to go into mediation."

Under the Kansas Tort Claims Act, the board had up to 120 days to accept or deny the claims after they were filed. Wasinger said denying the requests now allows both parties to move forward with negotiating a settlement. The plaintiffs have at least 90 days to respond once the board's legal counsel issues a formal denial.

Wasinger said he didn't know what the impending mediation process would entail.

"It's in the hands of our legal counsel," he said. "Obviously, we're taking the backseat. They're basically going to set timelines and everything. ... Once this gets denied, then they can go forward."

Sean Bradforth is being represented by Shawn Foster of Pruess Foster Law in Leawood. Atkins-Ingram is being represented by DRZ Law in Leawood. The lead attorney for GCCC is Randy J. Aliment of the Seattle-based firm Lewis Brisbois.

At Tuesday's meeting, the GCCC board also swore in three new board members who will officially take office Jan. 13. The new board members are Beth Tedrow, a former GCCC dean and instructor; Shanda Smith, a local business owner; and Dave Rupp, a former criminal justice instructor at the school.

They will replace outgoing board members Terri Worf, Jeff Crist and Steve Martinez, who boast a combined 27 years of service on the board. Worf has sat on the board for 16 years, Crist for seven years and Martinez for four years.

Board members are publicly elected and pledge to serve four-year terms.