Tyrod Taylor suing Chargers team doctor $5M for malpractice

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

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

Herbert, then a rookie, filled in against Kansas City that Sunday afternoon at SoFi Stadium and has remained the Chargers’ starter 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 had been scheduled for mid-November before being moved to June 2023. Taylor originally filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in May 2021.

The legal action comes to light at a time when Herbert’s injury has dominated the news surrounding the Chargers.

He was hurt with about five minutes to go Thursday night against the Chiefs after being hit by defensive end Mike Danna. After the play, Gazzaniga was one of the team’s medical personnel assisting Herbert, who missed only one snap before returning.

On Friday, coach Brandon Staley announced that tests on Herbert revealed the fractured cartilage. He termed the quarterback’s status “day to day.”

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

Injections like the one that injured Taylor are a common method used to help athletes deal with pain.

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

A week later — on Sept. 20 — came the pregame incident at SoFi Stadium. Taylor’s suit states that the punctured lung led to him losing his starting job and caused “severe physical pain resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress, and other past pain and suffering.”

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

Taylor was in his second year with the Chargers and set to become a free agent after the season. Following Week 2, he played only one snap the rest of the season.

Taylor’s lawsuit states that “as he returned to free agency, he 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 $5,000,000.00 and is more than likely much greater.”

Taylor’s suit says that his exact financial loss — both past and future — was unknown at the time of the filing and asks for the court’s permission to amend the $5-million total when a more accurate figure is determined.

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

In March, Taylor, now 33, signed a two-year deal with the Giants worth up to $11 million, according to overthecap. He is backing up Daniel Jones.

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