Tyrod Taylor suing Chargers team doctor $5M for malpractice

With Justin Herbert struggling with a fractured rib cartilage, the quarterback he replaced is suing one of the Chargers’ team doctors for medical malpractice over treating a similar injury.

Tyrod Taylor was ruled out of the Chargers’ Week 2 game minutes before kickoff in 2020 after an injection meant to help him ease pain from two fractured ribs resulted in a lung puncture.

Herbert, then a rookie, took on Kansas City that Sunday afternoon at SoFi Stadium and has remained the Chargers’ starter ever since.

Taylor is suing David Gazzaniga, who remains one of the Chargers’ four team doctors, for at least $5 million. Taylor now plays for the New York Giants.

A trial was scheduled for mid-November before being pushed back to June 2023. Taylor originally filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in May 2021.

The lawsuit comes at a time when Herbert’s injury has dominated the news surrounding the Chargers.

He was injured about five minutes from time against the Chiefs Thursday night after being hit by defensive end Mike Danna. After the game, Gazzaniga was one of the team’s medical staff and provided support to Herbert, who only missed a snap before his return.

On Friday, trainer Brandon Staley announced tests on Herbert revealed the broken cartilage. He described the quarterback’s status as “day by day.”

Along with avoiding further damage to his ribs, pain management will be a primary factor in determining Herbert’s availability for at least the next few weeks.

Injections like the one that injured Taylor are a common way to help athletes manage pain.

Taylor’s lawsuit states that he was originally injured in the Chargers’ 2020 season opener in Cincinnati. In that game, Taylor played all of the Chargers’ 74 offensive snaps, although at one point Herbert was seen warming up as if preparing for the game.

A week later – on September 20 – the incident happened before the game at the SoFi Stadium. Taylor’s lawsuit states that the punctured lung caused him to lose his original job and caused “severe physical pain leading to hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other previous aches and pains.”

The NFL Players Association was investigating the situation at the time but took no action.

Taylor was in his sophomore year with the Chargers and was scheduled to become a free agent after the season. After Week 2, he only played one snap for the rest of the season.

Taylor’s lawsuit states, “When he returned to free agency, he stepped in as a backup quarterback as opposed to a starting quarterback. The economic difference between a starting quarterback’s salary and a reserve quarterback’s salary is at least $5,000,000.00 and is most likely much larger.”

Taylor’s lawsuit states that his exact financial loss — both past and future — was unknown at the time of filing and seeks the court’s permission to amend the $5 million figure if a more accurate number is available is determined.

After the 2020 season, Taylor signed a one-year deal with Houston, earning $5 million, according to overthecap.com. He opened as the Texans’ starter before getting injured in the second game. Taylor came back to start four more times but was eventually replaced by Davis Mills.

In March, Taylor, now 33, signed a two-year contract with the Giants worth up to $11 million, according to Overthecap. He supports Daniel Jones.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/chargers/story/2022-09-18/tyrod-taylor-suing-chargers-doctor-medical-malpractice Tyrod Taylor suing Chargers team doctor $5M for malpractice

Emma Bowman

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