Erin Henderson suing Jets for wrongful termination, disability discrimination

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Former Jets linebacker Erin Henderson was placed on the non-football injury list by the team last season and that decision is at the heart of a lawsuit Henderson has filed against the team.

Henderson, who has bi-polar disorder, believes he was placed on the list without merit and is suing for wrongful termination and disability discrimination. He is seeking $3.3 million in compensatory damages based on his lost salary for last season and the salary he was set to make in 2017 before the team declined his contract option as well as punitive damages.

Henderson’s agent Jim Chapman told Connor Hughes of that Henderson did not know why the team placed him on NFI until an NFLPA grievance hearing in June. The team said Henderson was “not fit” to play at that time.

Chapman said that Henderson struggled with side effects of Seroquel, which was prescribed by a team physician to treat his bi-polar disorder. The drug allegedly left him sleepy, which caused him to be late to meetings where Henderson was allegedly accused of being hungover and “still drunk” by coaches and teammates. The Jets had no comment on those or any other allegations in the lawsuit.

Henderson served a four-game substance abuse suspension in 2009 and was released by the Vikings in 2014 after two DUI arrests. He signed with the Jets in 2015 and was placed on the NFI list last October.

12 responses to “Erin Henderson suing Jets for wrongful termination, disability discrimination

  1. This will TMI for most of you but oh well.

    As someone who is bi-poral and takes (the generic version of) Seroquel, I agree and disagree.

    Yes, when you first start it, it kicks your butt the first couple days. But you get used to it. I started taking it on a Friday night (supposed to take it at night before bed) and was back at work Monday morning at 6:30 am as usual.

    You have to take it about 10 hours before you need to be awake and functioning. After a few weeks, the drowsiness is minimal and it’s no harder to be awake in the morning.

    Take your meds correctly and no problems. The meds do work.

  2. I feel for the guy, mental disorders can be difficult. I know this cause I root for the Washington team.
    But a history of multiple DUI’s makes his case a bit less-than-credible….

  3. Not to make light of this situation, but I am waiting for the first player to get injured when kneeling down protesting the anthem. It will happen for sure a player will loose their balance standing up or kneeling down or slip on a wet turf causing an injury.

  4. Well that sucks. My ex used to take seroquel and man it would have her sleep for half the day sometimes. Jets might loose this one if him being bi polar is the only reason they put him on the nfi.

  5. 19dead2 says:
    September 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Not to make light of this situation, but I am waiting for the first player to get injured when kneeling down protesting the anthem.

    Try doing something constructive with your life.

  6. I was prescribed Seroquel before and it did the same thing to me. I was completely unable to function for long periods.. 12+ hours. Turned me into a zombie. Stopped taking it after 3-4 days. I couldn’t have my life being impacted like that. It’s just too much.

  7. Seroquel is a powerful medication, and depending on the dosage and time of day administered it can definitely have those effects. Sounds like NFI list was the right place for him, but if the Jets didn’t disclose why they were placing him on it or mishandled his care he might have a legit case.

  8. I think it will be interesting to see who was prescribing the Seroquel. A sports medicine doc is not someone that would frequently manage bi-polar disorder or patients that need anti-psychotic medications. Hopefully they did bring in a psychiatrist to help. If not, or if they didn’t communicate to coaches that his meds have some side effects, then the team is likely at fault.

    Most players aren’t thrilled with the medical care they get from team docs in the NFL. Consider players with actual mental health issues–Alonzo Spellman, Titus Young, Henderson, Tre Mason and it can be rather scary. I recall an article in the LA times about a defensive back that likely had the beginnings of schizophrenia but bounced around a few teams–nobody really put him in touch or on the right path, got labeled with concussion issues, and killed his mom.

    Late teens and early 20s are the time that many mental health issues do show up–like bipolar or schizophrenia. I would be very concerns teams will cut a guy or not properly diagnosed until it was too late. By the time guys get into legal trouble, its way more complicated.

    Unless its a star player, they get cut. I mean , Barrett Robbins has doctors trying to keep him able to play football rather than manage his bipolar disorder. That doesn’t absolve him from blame, but…was playing football in his best interest?

  9. Players should understand that the teams have no regard for them as people. This is the kind of thing that the players should be protesting—but how long would the league put up with that?

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