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Missouri Jury Awards $12.45M in Professional Athlete Injury Case

On November 1, 2015, the Rams played one of their final games in St. Louis before leaving for L.A. During that game, former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush was playing for the visiting 49ers, and sustained a very serious painful knee injury while returning a punt that knocked him out the rest of the season, and killed his ability to negotiate in free agency for a decent contract during free agency in the following offseason. Something very simple could have been done to protect players like Mr. Bush, but wasn’t, and for no discernable reason other than indifference.

For some reason, all along the sidelines on both sides at the Rams Dome, there was a strip of uncovered exposed concrete between the wall and where they stopped the turf, just 11 yards from the out of bounds line on the sides. The very week before another player on the visiting team skidded on the same concrete strip and injured himself. Yet nothing was done. We knew something could have been done to easily cover it, because the day after Reggie’s injury the Rams jump started the process to make sure it got covered up with something that would provide better traction and a non-slip surface by the next game.

As a result of it not being covered sooner, Reggie tore his meniscus when he slipped on the concrete. Specifically, he suffered a complete bucket handle tear of his left lateral meniscus in his left knee. He required surgery, and a long rehab course. This incident knocked Reggie out the rest of the season, and all of the way through free agency until the following season was about to start. The last second contract he got once he could finally pass a physical was a 1 year deal with the Bills, at the end of their depth chart, and never really got a chance to play to try to earn another contract. And that’s how his career ended.

At the conclusion of a 7 day trial, the jury found the Rams 100% liable, and awarded our client $4.95 million in compensatory damages, and assessed the Rams $7.5 million in punitive damages, for a total Plaintiff’s verdict of $12.45 million.