Browns settle LeCharles Bentley lawsuit

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We’d love to know what the documents regarding the sale of the Browns from Randy Lerner to Jimmy Haslam say about the concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL and, necessarily, the 32 teams that are the NFL.  We don’t to need to know what the documents say about the lawsuit filed against the Browns by former center LeCharles Bentley.

We don’t need to know because Bentley’s lawsuit has been settled.

It’s unknown whether and to what extent the sale prompted the settlement, but it would be hard to blame Haslam if he wanted to acquire the asset free and clear of litigation dating back to the franchise’s not-too-distant staph-infection past.

And while Haslam may be happy that it’s gone, Bentley may be even happier.

“These last six years have been the most trying time of my life, but now that it is over I can honestly say I am a better man for having gone through it,” Bentley said in a statement Monday night, via Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com.  “Randy Lerner and I — two men born and raised in Cleveland — were able to sit down face to face back in June and come to an agreement that was fair.”

It would be interesting to know whether Bentley’s lawyers knew that the team was being sold when they worked out the agreement.  If Bentley’s lawyers had known, there’s a chance they would have wanted more money in order to make it go away.

The fact that Bentley’s lawyers had been able to navigate the legal system to avoid the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and remain in court, where the NFL has zero control over its destiny, already suggests that Bentley got plenty.

As most civil settlements are, this one was confidential.  But the parties agreed to publicize that the package includes a scholarship program at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland for underprivileged children.  “One hundred and twenty young men will be blessed with a scholarship to attend one of the most academically and athletically rigorous schools in the country,” Bentley said.  “[To] a school that not only provides a great education, but also molds boys into responsible men.  This is another example of the good things the Lerner family does for this city that nobody ever hears about.”

For a guy who was suing the Lerner family for providing substandard medical care after he popped a patellar tendon during the first play of team drills in his first training-camp practice with the team in 2006, Bentley is being very charitable.

If we knew how charitable Lerner was being to resolve Bentley’s lawsuit, we may know why.

12 responses to “Browns settle LeCharles Bentley lawsuit

  1. that’s a LOT of scholarships as outright charity as a rider to a settlement like that…

    and it infers a level of character on Bentley’s part that is very admirable….

    well done.

  2. This was a crazy ordeal.
    Bentley was a good player for the Saints and wanted big money so he goes to the Browns, then on the first play IN PRACTICE with the Browns he gets injured and never played again.

  3. Bentley went down on the first play of training camp without being touched. He had to have injured himself sometime between the physical and that first play. He knew he had a knee problem, as he went right to the ground with the call of the snap. I would also put money on it that Bentley gets the tax deduction from the donation of the scholarships without putting up any of his money.

  4. Wow–those scholarships, if full, are a chunk of $. The school wasn’t cheap when I went there, and it’s much more expensive now. The football team is a whole lot better now too.

    Note that Randy Lerner’s kid was a QB on one of the underclass teams last year–not sure if he’s staying when the team gets sold. Pat Shurmer’s son is the Qb at the rival school, St. Ed’s, at the same level.

  5. For all the knocks and BS Randy Lerner has gotten on this site and in the media and by the fans, tts important to understand the Lerner Family is one of Northeast Ohio’s most charitable families. The good they perform is felt at large and small non-profits.

    Its no surprise they are giving to St. Ignatius, LeCharles played High School football there. And Randy Lerner’s son relocated to Cleveland last year to play freshman football at St. Ignatius.

    Its an inner city school with strong academics and strong sports. Lets be thankful these two men were able to make something good for others happen from this situation.

  6. this from cleveland.com –
    The suit said Bentley experienced flu-like symptoms and his left knee became swollen on or about Aug. 22, 2006, and he was diagnosed with staph infection shortly thereafter.
    Bentley returned to compete at the team’s minicamp in June of 2008. He asked for his release after one practice and never played again.
    Bentley was the second former Browns player to sue the team as a result of a staph infection. Receiver Joe Jurevicius also reached a settlement
    so erikinhell – he did NOT have a previous injury. the staph infection kept on coming back & back & back & …
    I believe he also sued the Cleveland Clinic

  7. mgmac, Bentley had surgery after he went down on the first play of training camp. He got staph after that first surgery. My point is that he was injured before that 1st play.

  8. erikinhell – so you are accusing Bentley of being injured prior to his first practice – where’s your proof? Again, where’s your proof? The injury was not so severe he could not play again, the staph infection caused secondary and tertiary problems which caused his career to end. There is nothing that shows he was already injured, if he was he would have not passed the physical prior to training camp

  9. It’s great to see a class act like Bentley continue to turn such a negative experience into more positive outcomes. Anybody who says he had a pre-existing knee problem prior to practice that day is way off base. He was a big time free agent signing who would have had a thorough physical prior to signing his deal that would have shown any instability in the knee cap. It is a tough injury to come back from without the complications of a staph infection that destroyed any chance he had. Several other Browns players contracted similar staph infections during that era and even though the team wasn’t publically held liable by the league, cleaning procedures were reformatted and new policies put in effect to prevent any further outbreaks.
    Despite losing his career and filing suit against the team, Bentley didn’t bash the Browns and didn’t quit on life. He took his work experience and opened a training facility for offensive lineman that focuses on what young lineman need to do to make it in the NFL. His staff provides physical, and life training skills that can be invaluable to players adjusting to the pro lifestyle.
    How can we not admire a person who refuses to quit on himself, helps others benefit from his misfortune and didn’t actually turns his adversary into a credible figure. Way to go LeCharles. You are a role model.

  10. I admire LeCharles Bentley. I wish things would have worked out differently for him here in Cleveland, and that he would have played well for the Browns for years instead of having his career snuffed out on the practice field upon arrival.

  11. Not touched by a soul and goes down on the very first play of practice. Not a bad jackpot for a big mouth that obviously ripped up his knee playing basketball, just like the sources whispered six years ago. Incredible that some bozos are calling this lying loser a “role model.” A role model for whom, members of the Al Capone Fan Club?

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