Maragos awarded $43.5 million for the premature and unnecessary end to his NFL career due to the improper care of his right knee injury by his medical team
Verdict highlights the need for accountability to prevent similar incidents from repeating to professional athletes across all sports
PHILADELPHIA–A Philadelphia jury ruled today that renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradley and national rehabilitation institute Rothman Orthopaedics are responsible for the premature and unnecessary end of former Philadelphia Eagles team captain Christopher Maragos’ NFL career. The closely-watched medical malpractice case could have implications for the treatment of professional athletes across professional sports.
The civil case revolved around a meniscus tear that Maragos’ medical team failed to treat and the medically negligent decision to advance his rehab, further damaging the knee. During the two week trial, the jury heard testimony from key experts in orthopedic medicine, as well as Maragos’ former teammates Nick Foles, Trey Burton and Jordan Hicks. Among other convincing evidence , Maragos’ legal team proved at trial that Rothman Orthopaedics created two separate medical charts for Maragos, one of which failed to include key notes about his injury and recovery.
“On Sunday, my team played the Superbowl, and I could only watch and wonder whether I could have been out there with him had I received proper medical care,” said former Philadelphia Eagles Team Captain Chris Maragos. “While I live in constant pain and will never get back on the field, I hope this decision sends a message to teams’ medical staffs that players are people, not just contracts.”
“This verdict will not bring back Chris’ NFL career, but we are grateful the Maragos family finally got a measure of justice,” said Peter J. Flowers, Partner at Meyers & Flowers. “But, this is only the beginning in our effort to demand further accountability for professional sports franchises and ethical treatment for athletes. This jury’s verdict serves as a reminder that any team’s doctor, in any sport, who jeopardizes the well-being of its players due to contractual obligations or financial incentives, will be held accountable for their misconduct.”
Maragos suffered a right knee injury during a game on October 12, 2017 against the Carolina Panthers. The injury was diagnosed as a torn right knee posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Dr. Bradley performed a surgical repair of Maragos’ right knee and then oversaw and directed the post-operative treatment with the support of Rothman Orthopaedics.
In May 2018, an MRI revealed that Maragos’ injury had been getting worse and that he was suffering from a persistent partial tear. As testified to during the trial, Dr. Bradley and Rothman Orthopaedics should have held off on advancing Maragos’ activities in light of the results of this MRI. Instead, they released Maragos, allowing him to advance his rehab to include running on dry land. These activities, ordered by Bradley and administered by Rothman, resulted in the undue stress on Maragos’ knee, leading to further complications and ultimately the premature end of Maragos’ NFL career.
“This case and this jury may have changed the course of history by now forcing these team doctors and trainers to stop worrying about when a player might return to play and start thinking about the next 50 years of a players life,” said Dion G. Rassias, Attorney at The Beasley Firm.
Chris Maragos was represented by Peter J. Flowers and Frank V. Cesarone of Meyers & Flowers, along with Dion G. Rassias and Jill Johnson of The Beasley Firm, a Philadelphia-based law firm. Maragos started his career with the San Francisco 49ers, before winning the Super Bowl as a Seattle Seahawks player in 2014. He then signed a three-year contract to play for the Eagles in 2014.
About Meyers & Flowers
Led by Illinois Top 100 Super Lawyer and former President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Peter J. Flowers, the Meyers & Flowers’ team of experienced trial attorneys routinely take on large challenges and succeed. For more than two decades, the firm has represented clients both locally in Chicago and nationally in a full spectrum of cases involving catastrophic personal injuries, medical malpractice, workplace injuries and wrongful death.
About The Beasley Firm
Established in 1958, The Beasley Firm has represented countless injury victims and has won more than $2 billion in compensation – something that few other law firms can truly match. Their Philadelphia personal injury and trial lawyers are passionate about advocating for the catastrophically injured; those who have lost loved ones, family members, or those tragically hurt in a serious accident.