Will Rams appeal Reggie Bush bell-ringing verdict?

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It’s a drop in the bucket for Rams owner Stan Kroenke, but billionaires don’t become billionaires (or stay billionaires) by batting an eye at an eight-figure jury verdict.

But Kroenke ultimately may decide not to fight former 49ers running back Reggie Bush’s $12.5 million verdict for an ACL tear suffered when the Rams failed to rectify the obvious hazard arising from a slippery concrete ring around the perimeter of the field at the Edward Jones Dome.

Did Bush actually suffer nearly $5 million in compensatory losses for an injury that has become commonplace for NFL players? Are $7.5 million in punitive damages justified under Missouri law, or was the extra payment a belated “eff you” to the team that left St. Louis for Los Angeles? With the Missouri courts deciding the issue, it may not matter; the Rams are long gone, and even though the $12.5 million total verdict won’t help any citizens of Missouri, the fact that it hurts the Rams will make people feel better about the team that relocated to California. And it could make it less likely that the Rams will prevail at the next level.

The Rams obviously have appeal rights. But they’ll need to decide whether it makes sense to throw good money after bad, once their lawyers engage in a frank, objective assessment of whether the team has a snowball’s chance in La Brea of winning an appeal. Kroenke could end up spending another $100,000 or more in appellate legal fees to delay the inevitable.

Maybe the sensible (and right) thing to do would be to not fight it. The Rams carelessly allowed an open and obvious hazard to exist in a stadium the team would soon flee, consciously accepting the risk of a Rams player or a player from another team suffering an injury. The Rams rolled the dice, it came up craps (the bad kind), and if Kroenke cares at all about NFL players (those on his team or any other team), he’d write the check and move on.

Then again, if Kroenke truly cares at all about NFL platers (those on his team or any other team), he would have offered a reasonable settlement amount and avoided what any lawyer worth his or her salt could have spotted coming a mile away — a bell-ringing verdict that serves as a middle finger to Kroenke and company.

Then again,  if Kroenke truly cares at all about NFL platers (those on his team or any other team), he would have rectified the hazard before Bush tore up his knee, not after.

At this point, the man building a $5 billion complex in Inglewood probably should regard the $12.5 million as a cost of doing business, and move on.

17 responses to “Will Rams appeal Reggie Bush bell-ringing verdict?

  1. The smart advice as mentioned, just make a reasonable settlement to avoid the punitive damages.

    The Rams should not appeal the judgement because they will lose again.

  2. Maybe you haven’t heard yet, but there’s this new thing called insurance that will be picking up the tab. Kroenke won’t be paying a dime.

  3. You can certainly settle after a verdict.
    $12.5 verdict.
    How about you take $8 Million (5, 2, 10, whatever) and I wont appeal?

    Why would victor settle after a verdict? He could lose the appeal. Or $8 million now is better then $12.5 later.

  4. I just wish Bush would’ve been given another year here in Detroit. He was the last running back we had of any substance, why Mayhew chose to release him is mind boggling.

  5. The league approves the safety of the fields before the games still, right? Since the 49ers employed Bush and his job brought him to that site because the league made the schedule, how were they not listed as defendants? I think the Rams’ best move would be to appeal the decision for removing the city entities that owned the stadium (if that is even possible).

  6. I believe the Rams were leasing the Edward Jones Dome for a ridiculous 25 thousand a game So this just make up for the rent they should have been paying for what? 20 years. Rams saved a lot of money with their lease deal in St Louis

  7. suchapaindude says:
    June 12, 2018 at 9:23 pm
    You can certainly settle after a verdict.
    $12.5 verdict.
    How about you take $8 Million (5, 2, 10, whatever) and I wont appeal?

    Why would victor settle after a verdict? He could lose the appeal. Or $8 million now is better then $12.5 later.

    =========================

    Not only that, Kroenke can delay for 7 years and most people not only know this but a more than willing to negotiate the punitive part to stop the delay. I would imagine 1/2 would be offered and Bush waiting 6 months or so to get a 9 plus. If he has enough money, then screw it. If he re-injures his knee and finds a DR who says it’s related (um…) and sue for more. The clock will always be ticking on an injury until it’s officially settled. That’s why there is language in the settlement regarding future suits regarding said injury.

  8. Wouldn’t it behoove Kroenke to pay Bush? After all, this shows how inadequate the stadium was for playing professional football. How on earth could Kroenke justify keeping his team in St. Louis with such poor facilities? This only helps justify the move to L.A.

    Perhaps is St. Louis saw fit to hold up their end of the bargain and maintain and update the stadium, Bush wouldn’t have gotten injured.

  9. Punitive damages are excepted from standard CGL insurance coverage — the $7M punitive damage portion of the verdict is all on Kroenke (which is awesome). Having said that, successful appeals of civil verdicts are very rare. What isn’t rare is prejudgment and post judgment interest plus the cost of any appeal taxed against the loser on appeal — this number is going to grow significantly if the Rams drag this out.

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