For Tyrod Taylor (“Taylor”), the former starting quarterback of the National Football League’s Los Angeles Chargers (the “Chargers”), Week 2 of the National Football League’s season was supposed to be another day at the office, but, unfortunately, this was not the case. Prior to the Chargers’ game on September 20th, against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor received what was supposed to be a routine pain killing injection for a fractured rib that he suffered in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injection was administered by the Chargers’ team physician and was later proven to be irregular as Taylor suffered a punctured lung causing him to miss the big game. As a result, Taylor was replaced by rookie, first round pick, Justin Herbert (“Herbert”), who played valiantly almost leading the Chargers to a huge upset victory.
Not only did this performance look good for Herbert’s future, as the permanent Chargers starting quarterback, it also created quite an issue for Taylor – would he ever get his starting role back when he becomes healthy? This unfortunate situation caused many to ask a simple question: Would Tyrod Taylor have cause for legal action against the Los Angeles Chargers and/or their team doctor? The answer to this question, more than likely, depends on whether Taylor was informed about the possibility of the injection causing further injury, or even about any other potential complications the injection could cause. If he was informed, and Taylor consented to the injection, his possibility of having a successful future case does not look promising.
Taylor’s contractual situation with the Los Angeles Chargers makes the legal aspect of these circumstances even more complex. For the remainder of his season, Taylor was provided with a guaranteed salary and full job security, however, next season he has a $5 million dollar non-guaranteed salary. Ultimately, this means that the Chargers have the option to release him, before the next season, without it affecting the teams salary cap. If the Chargers do release him, whether he can sign with another team or not, he may be able to argue for damages. Ultimately, he would argue on the grounds that, but for the Doctor’s mistake, he wouldn’t have lost his job and would have started over Herbert for the remainder of the season.
The National Football League’s Player Association is currently investigating this matter.