Los Angeles (AFP) – The Los Angeles Rams were on Tuesday ordered to pay former running back Reggie Bush $12.45 million over a 2015 knee injury he blamed on a dangerous stadium design.
Bush, who retired from the NFL last December, suffered a torn meniscus after slipping on concrete which bordered the playing field at the Rams’ former stadium home in St. Louis, the Edward Jones Dome.
Bush, who was playing for the San Francisco 49ers when he sustained the injury, filed a lawsuit in 2016, arguing that the Rams had allowed a dangerous condition to exist which he described as a “concrete ring of death.”
The injury ended Bush’s 2015 season, and the player argued it prevented him from signing a more lucrative deal with the Buffalo Bills in 2016, the final year of his career.
The St. Louis jury which heard the case ordered the Rams to pay $4.95 million in compensation and a further $7.5 million in punitive damages.
“I’m very happy with the verdict,” Bush told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The people spoke and decided very fairly.”
Bush’s lawyer Tim Cronin said his client had been deprived of earning power because of the injury, which occurred a week after Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown damaged a shoulder on the same patch of concrete.
“Reggie lost his ability to do what he loved, and to bargain for a contract that he worked his entire life for,” Cronin said.
“These players get chewed up. They only have so many chances.”
The Rams, who are owned by US billionaire Stan Kroenke, moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis in 2016.