Bentley’s recovery was marred by a staph infection that destroyed the replacement tendon, requiring multiple additional operations.
Now, in the wake of the settlement of a staph suit filed by former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius against the team and related entities, Bentley is suing the Browns, too. And he has hired the same lawyer who represented Jurevicius, Shannon Polk.
“The Browns convinced LeCharles to rehab at their facility,” Polk told Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Nothing
required him to do it. That wasn’t part of his job. They told him their
facility was the best and that they had successfully helped others. But
they never told him about a host of unsanitary conditions there, and
they never told him about the list of others who contracted staph before
he chose to rehab there.
“Had the Browns disclosed that stuff to him, had they been straight
with him, he would have never agreed to rehab at their training
facility. The man nearly died from the staph infection he got there.”
Bentley’s case arguably is weaker than the claim filed by Jurevicius, given that Jurevicius was the last in a line of players to contract a staph infection while playing for the Browns. Before Bentley, there arguably hadn’t been enough staph cases to put the Browns on notice that they had a problem.
The bigger problem for Bentley could be the applicable statute of limitations. For fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims (counts in the complaint mentioned in Grossi’s article), the case must be filed no later than two years after the date of the alleged misconduct.
It’s possible that Bentley had decided long ago not to pursue the matter, and that he changed his mind after he saw that Jurevicius secured a settlement. It’s possible that Polk has concocted an argument to get around any statute of limitations issues. There’s a chance, however, that the delay will be fatal to the case.