Following the 2016 season opener, Minnesota Vikings’ defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd saw renowned doctor James Andrews for what should have been a routine knee surgery. Unfortunately for Floyd, in the course of the surgery something happened that caused Floyd to suffer permanent nerve and muscle damage in his right leg, and left him unable to resume his NFL career. Now, Floyd is striking back, and in a big way.
Albert Breer of the MMQB at Sports Illustrated is reporting that Floyd will be filing a $180 million lawsuit against Dr. Andrews, the Andrews Orthopedic Institue, and others.
According to the suit, the Andrew Institute negligently administered a pain blocker that led to the muscle and nerve damage. In the aftermath, the Vikings placed Floyd on the non-football injury list, which was the subject of an NFLPA grievance. That grievance centered on the payment of Floyd’s $6.7-million option for 2017, the final year of his rookie deal. The Vikings exercised that option in May 2016.
It’s believed that the team and Floyd have engaged in settlement talks on the grievance. The related $180-million lawsuit is based on what Floyd would’ve made over the course of a longer career as a pro football player.
Floyd was the first of the Vikings’ three first-round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft (along with Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson).
Floyd’s attorneys believe that the $180 million demand is commensurate with what someone of Floyd’s stature could have made over the course of an NFL career. While I’m not sure on that one way or another, it is very easy to argue that the botched surgery took Floyd out of the league before what would have been the prime of his career. 2016 was the fourth year of his five-year rookie contract, and if he had been able to play out the entire deal, he could have been in line for a pretty significant payday in his second NFL contract, whether that would have been with the Vikings or someone else.
What happened to Sharrif Floyd was a damn shame, quite frankly, and if Dr. James Andrews and company are found to have been negligent in their duties when it came to Floyd’s surgery, I certainly hope that he can get everything that he’s entitled to out of this.