JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) – Former NFL player Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars, claiming more than $ 3.5 million in wages and emotional distress damage caused by former head coach Urban Meyer.
The Tampa Bay Times first reported details of the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in the 4th Duval County Judicial Circuit Court and states that Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. According to the lawsuit, Lambo says his performance suffered as a result of being verbally beaten and abused by Meyer.
Lambo is seeking a jury trial and is expected to be sentenced for late payment due to his 2021 salary ($ 3.5 million) with interest, as well as “compensation for any special damages suffered as emotional stress and damages. to reputation and litigation fees “, among others. costs.
The Jaguars fired Meyer on Dec. 15, hours after the Tampa Bay Times reported that Meyer had shot Lambo during a workout months earlier. Meyer was fired, though the team insists Lambo’s accusation had nothing to do with owner Shad Khan’s decision to end one of the most tumultuous coaching stays in NFL history.
Because Lambo reported the Jaguars’ attorney kick incident, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistleblower Act, according to the lawsuit.
Lambo, the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history, missed a field goal attempt in each of Jacksonville’s first two preseason games. In a practice before the final showdown in Dallas in August, Lambo says he was stretching when Meyer approached him, kicked him in the leg, and said, “Hey ), kick your ass (insults)! “
Lambo says he told Meyer never to hit him again, but Meyer replied, “I’m the head coach of the ball. I’ll kick you when I want to (insult him).”
The lawsuit says Lambo verbally reported the incident immediately through his agent, who contacted the Jaguars’ attorney the day after Meyer kicked Lambo.
An employer physically beats an employee at work and then threatens to do so again in response to resistance being illegal under Florida civil and criminal law, the lawsuit claims.
Meyer, speaking before his dismissal, denied that the incident happened as Lambo described it.
“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer said. “(CEO) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him several times to encourage his performance, and that was never discussed. I fully supported Josh during his time with the team. and I wished him the best. “
The lawsuit alleges that the incident affected Lambo’s ability to sleep, practice and do his job the way he did during his seven seasons in the NFL.
“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had the expected effect on Mr. Lambo, giving rise to Mr. Lambo misses unusually difficult and long kicks from the 55-yard, 52-yard and 58-yard ranges, “according to the lawsuit.
Lambo was pitched by the Jaguars on Oct. 19, two days after Matt Wright scored two more than 50-yard field goals to beat Miami in London and end the franchise’s 20-game losing streak.
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