June 13, 2018

Reggie Bush wins $7.5 million punitive damages award against Los Angeles Rams

Law 360 reports (subscription required) that a jury in Missouri state court has awarded $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages to former NFL player Reggie Bush in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Rams. 

The suit stems from an injury that occurred in 2015 when the Rams were located in St. Louis.  Bush was returning a punt during the game, ran out of bounds, and slipped on a concrete surface beyond the edge of the field.  He missed the rest of the reason due to injury. 

Bush's legal team persuaded the Missouri court that this case is not governed by the terms of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement and that Bush is not limited to workers' compensation remedies.  The case proceeded to trial as an ordinary slip-and-fall case.  The article does not explain the theory behind the punitive damages claim.

If the punitive damages award survives post-trial and appellate review, half of the award will go to a tort victims' compensation fund under Missouri's split-recovery statute.