NFL Player Brings Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Career-Ending Knee Surgery

Sharrif Floyd, a former NFL defensive lineman, has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit targeting multiple healthcare insurance providers connected to his career-ending knee surgery. 

In November 2018, Floyd first sued Dr. Andrews, the Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), and multiple other parties related to the surgery that caused permanent nerve damage in his knee, forcing him to stop playing. He initially requested $180 million, based on the projected career earnings for top players in his position. This was based on Floyd’s first-round draft pick in 2013 and excellent play statistics.

While the case did not result in the full amount he asked for, he was awarded the maximum damages covered by the malpractice insurance of the ASC and other defendants. He stood to receive $27 million in total for his injuries and losses.

Floyd’s current lawsuit targets the insurance providers themselves. He alleges that he has only received $17 million of the $27 million in available coverage. He is now fighting to receive the full amount for which these insurers are liable to make up for the loss of his promising NFL career. 

While few professions are as lucrative and demanding on the body as football, many other types of medical malpractice can permanently end careers. Floyd rightfully considered his future professional income as part of the losses he suffered due to medical negligence. If you have suffered similarly, you should do the same. 

Sharrif Floyd’s Failed Knee Surgery Nightmare

Floyd was under contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 when he went to the ASC. Floyd had initially believed that he was present for an examination, but when he arrived at the facility, he was informed that a “minor” arthroscopic procedure was needed to determine the extent of his injury. He was told that this surgery was minimally invasive and would only cause him to miss a few weeks of his season, and he consented to those terms. 

However, once Floyd was under anesthesia, Dr. James Andrews and two other “very new” surgical fellows performed a different procedure entirely. They performed “microfracture” surgery, which involved drilling into the bone of Floyd’s knee. They also administered a pain blocker. 

Unfortunately, this surgery caused long-term damage to the joint. Floyd suffered permanent nerve damage related to the pain blocker. Even had that not occurred, he did not consent to the more invasive surgery, which would have sidelined him for the rest of the 2016-2017 season regardless. 

Floyd may have suffered not one but three forms of medical malpractice in his surgery. The nerve damage could have been caused by a negligent anesthesiologist, but it is also a known potential consequence of pain blockers. If that had been the only issue, Floyd would have had an uphill battle to prove that his injuries resulted from malpractice.

It is the lack of consent that elevates Floyd’s case into an unconscionable act of medical malpractice. By performing a completely different, significantly more invasive procedure while Floyd could not agree to the process, Dr. Andrews and the surgical team egregiously violated their duty of care.

In addition, the insurance brokers that have refused to pay his settlement may also be committing medical malpractice. By failing to compensate him according to their coverage limits, they may be violating their contracts and terms of service.

When Failed Surgeries Become Medical Malpractice

Medical practitioners and the legal system both acknowledge that surgeries carry risks. Even if the surgical team takes every precaution, it is still possible for things to go wrong. For example, any surgery poses a risk of infection, pain, and complications that could slow healing or prevent full recovery. This may be considered a “failed” surgery.

Most healthcare facilities require patients to consent to the procedure and waive their liability for these inherent risks. However, a liability waiver does not protect medical providers from the consequences of surgical errors and other forms of medical malpractice. If a surgeon’s negligence causes the patient unnecessary suffering, such as the loss of their career, that surgeon is liable for the losses their actions caused. This is when a simple unsuccessful surgery becomes malpractice.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Career-Ending Injuries

Floyd had every right to seek compensation from the medical professionals who ended his career and the insurance companies that refused to pay. So do you. Suppose you have suffered from negligent medical care that left you unable to do your job. In that case, your lost future earnings are just as eligible for consideration in malpractice claims as your healthcare expenses. 

In fact, future earnings are among the most significant losses to highlight in a medical malpractice lawsuit. California law currently caps “non-economic” damages in medical malpractice cases at $350,000 for injury-based claims. Non-economic damages include awards for the patient’s pain and suffering and punitive damages against the medical facility or provider. 

However, there is no such cap for “economic” damages. Economic damages are those awarded to compensate the victim for the actual financial losses they face. The most basic type is the medical bills you accrue trying to recover, but losses from losing your ability to work also count. Depending on your abilities, you may be able to pursue compensation for the following:

  • Lost future wages: The money you would have earned in your field if you had not lost your ability to work.
  • Lost benefits: The bonuses, stocks, and other non-wage compensation you would have received.
  • Lost retirement funds: The money you would have earned in a pension or Social Security benefits if you could continue working until retirement.

Working with a skilled California medical malpractice attorney is the best way to accomplish this.At the Law Offices of Michael Oran, APC, we specialize in helping clients fight back against negligent medical professionals and institutions. We can help you build your case and hold negligent providers like Dr. Andrews accountable for their actions and the loss of your career. Learn more about how our experience and skills can benefit you by scheduling your consultation today.

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