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Litigation over concrete in St. Louis stadium could be coming

Reggie Bush, Daren Bates


In the wake of Reggie Bush’s season-ending slip-and-fall on concrete that inexplicably surrounds the playing surface at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis (but apparently won’t as of the next game there), Bush could be taking the matter to court.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Bush already has heard from at least one lawyer who proposes litigation arising from the hazard that resulted in a knee injury that ended Bush’s season.

Although Bush will receive his full wages while on injured reserve, he would be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering arising from the avoidable knee injury. Punitive damages possibly would be available, too, if the evidence shows that the people who own and operate the stadium acted with a level of carelessness that justifies an extra payment aimed at deterring others from behaving in a similarly callous manner.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement likely would prevent a lawsuit against the Rams, but the Rams don’t own or operate the stadium itself. A slip-and-fall hazard on the area around the playing field would be no different than a slip-and-fall hazard in the parking lot or anywhere else other than between the white lines that surround the playing surface.

The 49ers also could, in theory, join in the litigation, obtaining payment for the wages that will be given to Bush while he is unable to play. Depending on the specific laws of Missouri, Bush could directly recover that money, with the 49ers either asking him for a refund or allowing him to double dip.

Bush has $847,000 in salary remaining for the current season. That large number could prompt a jury to award equally large numbers for pain and suffering and/or punitive damages, primarily because jurors sometimes are influenced by the size of the numbers that are presented to them during a trial.