A California athlete whose spine was crushed in a beginner martial arts class five years ago has been awarded $46 million. A jury found that the Del Mar Jiu-Jitsu Club outside of San Diego was 100% at fault in the 2018 injury, lawyers tell the Daily Beast. During a four-week trial, the jury was told that an instructor placed his entire body weight on the neck of Jack Greener. "The extreme force of the maneuver crushed Mr. Greener's cervical vertebrae, causing the student to fall limp, paralyzed in all extremities," lawyers said in a statement. Greener, who was 23 years old at the time, was hospitalized for months and almost died from a blood clot.
The injury happened weeks before Greener was due to graduate from college. He had planned to go to Costa Rica and work as a surf instructor. Lawyers say the award includes $8.5 million for future medical expenses and $25 million to compensate him for future pain and suffering. The spinal cord injury left Greener with incomplete quadriplegia. He spends most of his time in a wheelchair but can, with some effort, walk, per the Daily Beast. In 2021, Greener was able to complete a grueling summit of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the Lower 48. (Read more martial arts stories.)