SAINT LOUIS, Missouri — – A jury in St. Louis on Tuesday ordered the NFL’s Rams to pay former running back Reggie Bush $12.5 million for a severe knee injury he suffered in 2015, the team’s final season in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles.
“Reggie lost his ability to do what he loved, and to bargain for a contract that he worked his entire life for,” Bush’s lawyer Tim Cronin said during closing statements. “These players get chewed up. They only have so many chances.”
The jury found the Rams 100 percent liable for Bush’s injury and ordered the team to pay $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Bush was playing for the San Francisco 49ers when he was pushed out of bounds during a game on Nov. 1, 2015, at what was then the Edward Jones Dome, now known as the Dome at America’s Center. He slipped on a surface that the lawsuit dubbed the “concrete ring of death,” about 35 feet (11 meters) behind the 49ers’ bench.
Bush suffered a season-ending left knee injury. The lawsuit contended the injury undermined his earnings as a player for the rest of his career. He signed with Buffalo in 2016 and retired in 2017. Now 33, he works as an analyst for the NFL Network.
Just a week before Bush’s injury, Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown slid across the same concrete stretch and injured his shoulder.
Attorneys for the Rams said they plan to file a motion for a new trial.