Tyrod Taylor sues Los Angeles Chargers team doctor for medical malpractice, seeks at least $5 million after 2020 punctured lung

The Los Angeles Chargers doctor who treated Justin Herbert’s rib cartilage fracture is being sued for medical malpractice by former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is seeking at least $5 million after a punctured lung while being treated for rib injury in 2020, according to copies of the original lawsuit and subsequent filings related to the case obtained by ESPN.

Taylor, who now plays for the New York Giants, is suing Chargers team doctor David S. Gazzaniga and the Newport Orthopedic Institute he runs, according to the lawsuit.

The trial was originally scheduled for November, but both sides agreed to move it to April due to the current NFL season. The issue has been brewing since a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in May 2021 for the injury that occurred almost exactly two years ago on Sunday.

Moments before the Chargers game on Sept. 20, 2020, against the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor suffered a punctured lung when Gazzaniga attempted to administer a pain-killing injection to his broken rib.

Taylor, 33, alleges in the lawsuit that she suffered “extreme physical harm resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other past pain and suffering.”

Taylor’s lawyers also argued that Gazzaniga’s “negligence, recklessness and other tortious, illegal and wrongful acts … [Taylor] to lose his position as the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers for the 2020 season,” before he was scheduled to become a free agent.

“As he returns to free agency,” the lawsuit states, “he enters as a back-up quarterback as opposed to a starting quarterback. The economic difference between the starting quarterback’s salary and the back-up quarterback’s salary is at least $5,000,000 and more likely to be greater.The exact amount of such past and future loss is unknown [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.”

Taylor signed a two-year deal worth up to $17 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed, with the Giants in March. He was active for last week’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans as Daniel Jones’ backup.

Taylor’s lawyers also accused Gazzaniga of “medical battery” in the lawsuit, because the quarterback “did not have valid and accurate informed consent prior to the anesthetic injections.”

Gazzaniga remained part of the Chargers’ practice staff and was part of the team that treated Herbert on Thursday night after the third-year quarterback suffered his injury and struggled to finish the game.

The NFL Players Association and Herbert’s representatives are expected to closely monitor how the Chargers handle their starting quarterback as he deals with the injury.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley has said Herbert will be “day-to-day,” and the team won’t determine if he will practice this week until Wednesday. The Chargers play the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.

Taylor did not play for the remainder of the 2020 season after suffering a rib injury and subsequent punctured lung, while Herbert started Los Angeles’ remaining 15 games and went on to set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes.

After the 2020 season, Taylor joined the Texans on a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million and began the season as Houston’s starting quarterback, but he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2 and missed six games. Taylor returned from injured reserve to start four more games before the Texans turned to rookie Davis Mills as their starting quarterback in early December.