The Philadelphia Eagles may have lost Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, but a former team captain was a big winner on Monday.
A Philadelphia jury sided with retired NFL safety Chris Maragos in a medical practice lawsuit against a physician and rehab center and awarded the 36-year-old $43.5 million in damages.
Maragos argued that orthopedic surgeon James Bradley and Rothman Orthopaedics were negligent in their diagnosis and care of a meniscus tear in his right knee. The injury occurred during a game in 2017 against the Carolina Panthers and Bradley performed surgery. Unfortunately for Maragos, surgery not only didn’t heal his injury, but his condition worsened as time went on.
To that point, Maragos’ attorneys (which included Peter Flowers of Meyers & Flowers and Dion Rassias of The Beasley Law Firm) focused on a failure of key notes in a medical chart concerning his injury and recovery. The physicians and other health professionals treating Maragos were depicted as urging him to resume physical activities, including running, far too quickly and failing to properly utilize MRI results. That aggressive course of action prevented Maragos from recovering and effectively ended his NFL career.
In addition to expert testimony from health care professionals, a few former teammates—Nick Foles, Trey Burton and Jordan Hicks—testified on Maragos’ behalf. The sizeable damages figure reflected in part earnings that Maragos would have made in the NFL had he received proper medical care and continued his career.
Maragos played 99 regular season games over eight NFL seasons. Often playing on special teams, Maragos suited up for the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and the Eagles, earning two Super Bowl rings (XLVIII, LII).
“On Sunday, my team played the Super Bowl, and I could only watch and wonder whether I could have been out there with them had I received proper medical care,” Maragos said in a statement. “While I live in constant pain and will never get back on the field, I hope this decision sends a message to teams’ medical staffs that players are people, not just contracts.”
The verdict can be appealed. Neither the NFL nor any NFL team was a defendant in Maragos’s lawsuit.