Former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor claims that a doctor’s mistake might have cost him millions of dollars in lost earning opportunities.
Former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor has filed a lawsuit against one of the football team’s leading physicians, accusing Dr. David Gazzaniga of medical malpractice.
According to The L.A. Times, Taylor was ruled out of the Charges’ Week 2 game in 2020 mere minutes before kickoff after an injection intended to help him manage pain instead resulted in a punctured lung.
Taylor was quickly replaced by then-rookie Justin Herbert, who has remained the Chargers’ quarterback ever since.
In his lawsuit, Taylor—who now plays for the New York Giants—claims that he suffered “severe physical pain resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other past pain and suffering.”
The player’s attorneys also claim that Dr. Gazzaniga’s alleged “negligence, carelessness and other tortious, unlawful and wrong acts […] caused [Taylor] to lose position as the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers for the 2020 season,” just before Taylor was scheduled to become a free agent.
“As he returned to free agency,” the lawsuit says, “[Taylor] entered as a back-up quarterback as opposed to a starting quarterback. The economic difference between a starting quarterback’s salary and a back-up quarterback salary is at least $5,000,000 and is more than likely much greater. The exact amount of such past and future loss is unknown to [Taylor] at this time, and he will ask leave of this Court for permission to amend this Complaint to set forth the total amount when ascertained.”
ESPN reports that the injection was supposed to have helped Taylor manage pain in a fractured rib, but instead punctured his lung.
According to Taylor’s attorneys, Dr. Gazzaniga not only harmed the athlete but committed “medical battery” because the quarterback “did not have proper and accurate informed consent prior to the anesthetic injections.”
Shortly after the incident, then-Chargers coach Anthony Lynn publicly defended Gazzaniga, calling the doctor a “good man” who simply made a mistake.
“It happens,” Lynn said in September 2020. “I can’t go into details about it, but it was a complication with the shot, and no one is perfect. It happens, but I know the doctor. I know he’s a good man. It’s just unfortunate. I really wasn’t angry because I know the man and he’s a very good man. He’s a very good doctor. I know it wasn’t intentional. Everyone makes mistakes. I can’t explain it.”
Taylor, adds ESPN, signed his two-year contract with the Giants in March.
While the contract is conditional, it guarantees Taylor a minimum of $8.5 and could be worth up to as much as $17 million.