Tyrod Taylor is suing a Los Angeles Chargers team doctor who punctured his lung while giving a painkilling injection prior to a Week 2 game during the 2020 season, according to documents obtained by ESPN. Taylor is seeking at least $5 million.
Chargers team doctor David S. Gazzaniga and the Newport Orthopedic Institute, which Gazzaniga runs, are being sued for medical malpractice. The trial was originally scheduled for November but was pushed into April due to the ongoing NFL season.
Taylor suffered a punctured lung right before the Chargers’ Sept. 20, 2020, game against the Kansas City Chiefs when Gazzaniga tried to administer a painkilling injection to Taylor’s fractured ribs. Rookie Justin Herbert started in Taylor’s place and has held onto the Chargers’ starting quarterback job since.
“[Gazzaniga’s] negligence, carelessness and other tortious, unlawful and wrong acts ... caused [Taylor] to lose position as the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers for the 2020 season,” the lawsuit states, according to ESPN.
Taylor did not return to the field during the 2020 season. He then became a free agent, joined the Houston Texans on a one-year deal and went 2-4 in six starts.
“As he returned to free agency, he entered as a back-up quarterback as opposed to a starting quarterback,” the lawsuit argues. “The economic difference between a starting quarterback's salary and a back-up quarterback salary is at least $5,000,000 and is more than likely much greater. The exact amount of such past and future loss is unknown to [Taylor] at this time, and he will ask leave of this Court for permission to amend this Complaint to set forth the total amount when ascertained.”
The New York Giants signed Taylor to a two-year deal worth up to $17 million with $8.5 million guaranteed in March.
As for Gazzaniga, he is still with the Chargers and is now caring for another rib injury to their starting quarterback. Herbert suffered fractured rib cartilage in the Chargers’ loss to the Chiefs on Thursday and is considered day-to-day.