Denver Broncos linebacker sues NFL, LA Chargers over season-ending injury
DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver Broncos player is suing the NFL, Los Angeles Chargers and SoFi Stadium after he was injured during a game. He’s now claiming negligence on the parties involved.
The suit was filed Tuesday morning in the state of California by William M. Berman who is the attorney for Broncos outside linebacker Aaron Patrick. In addition to the league and team named in the suit, several other defendants are listed including ESPN and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (also named in the lawsuit for its part in building the stadium).
The incident took place during a Monday Night Football game on Oct. 17 when Patrick tore his ACL after tackling Chargers punt returner DeAndre Carter.
As a result of the play, Patrick ended up on the sidelines where the lawsuit says he made contact with the NFL’s TV liaison and rolled his foot on one of the mats covering cables leading to the NFL’s instant replay monitor.
Patrick’s agent told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that Patrick’s cleat became “lodged in the carpet trying to avoid the media person.”
The suit states, “the defendants were negligent in their operations of SOFI STADIUM in allowing a dangerous condition to exist by having three mats placed near the sideline to cover cords/cables that led to the feed for the instant NFL’s replay monitor.”
Patrick suffered a season-ending injury and is seeking restitution for earnings he lost, bonuses he won’t qualify for, personal medical expenses and pain and suffering damages.
What Patrick’s lawyer said about the incident
“Player safety should be the foremost of importance to the NFL and its owners,” Berman said in a statement. “The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar sports enterprise and business, and it needs to do everything possible to protect its players from non-contact game injuries. As for Patrick’s injuries, Sofi Stadium was built at a $5,000,000,000 expense; the stadium should have the state-of-the-art equipment to protect for player safety, and not use the type of $100 mats that you would expect to see in a restaurant kitchen.”
You can read the full lawsuit below.
Berman cited a similar lawsuit filed and won by former NFL running back Reggie Bush when his season was cut short after tearing his lateral meniscus following a slip on a concrete surface at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri against the Rams during the 2015-16 season. Bush won $12,450,000 in damages from the lawsuit.
“We take issue with the fact that the ‘Green Hat’ was out of position,” Berman told Nexstar’s KSWB Tuesday. “Curiously, he runs directly into the play rather than away from the play. And then we have the issue of player safety with regards to the mat and the cables being where they’re located, running wires out to the instant replay monitor, which is just at about the white lines between the out of bounds and the sidelines. So, there are several issues here and it goes to player safety, goes directly towards putting player safety first and foremost.”
“As this is pending litigation, we will refrain from comment,” a spokesperson from the L.A. Chargers said.
Nexstar’s KDVR has reached out to ESPN and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment for comment.