Most employers don’t want to be sued, ever. A new lawsuit filed against the Jaguars, however, could prove to be very helpful in a bigger legal battle the team is likely facing.
Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo has sued the team, seeking payment of his $3.5 million base salary for 2021, along with compensation for emotional distress.
Lambo contends that he was physically and verbally abused by former coach Urban Meyer. Specifically, Lambo claims that the team violated the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower’s Act.
Meyer allegedly kicked Lambo before a preseason game in August, saying to him, “Hey dipshit, making your fucking kicks.” Lambo alleges that he told Meyer to never do that again. Meyer allegedly responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the fuck I want.”
Lambo says he verbally reported the incident to his agent, who communicated the complaint to the team.
Undoubtedly, Lambo contends in the lawsuit (we haven’t seen it yet) that the Jaguars cut him in retaliation for making the complaint regarding Meyer’s conduct.
Also undoubtedly, the Jaguars will argue that the Collective Bargaining Agreement provides the exclusive avenue for Lambo’s claims. That will be the first battle in this case, and it could compel Lambo to pursue a grievance under the labor deal, in lieu of going to court.
Wherever the case goes, the allegations from Lambo could make it easier for the Jaguars to prove that Meyer was fired for cause, and that he should get no further compensation. The Jaguars undoubtedly will try to get any fight with Meyer resolved in the NFL’s secret, rigged kangaroo court, making it much easier to beat back Meyer’s effort to secure a buyout.
For his part, Meyer has denied any wrongdoing as to Lambo. As to the notion that he was fired due to the kicking allegation, Meyer would likely argue that the team didn’t fire him when they became aware of the claim, and that the decision to keep him shows that the eventual firing was unrelated to the contention that he kicked his kicker.