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The Joe Jurevicius v. Cleveland Browns Staph Lawsuit: Should Other Teams Worry?

By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 29, 2009 8:22 AM

More woe for the Cleveland Browns? It could be coming from a courthouse this time. Former wideout Joe Jurevicius is suing the Browns and the Cleveland Clinic alleging that the team "misrepresented the cleanliness of its training facility", and that he contracted a staph infection in his knee. According to Jurevicius, he should have been warned that therapy equipment wasn't always sanitized at the team's training facility.

OK, before anyone discounts Jurevicius's claims as the stuff of a jilted former teammate (he was released by the Browns in March), let's take a look at some cold, hard, unsanitized numbers. According to the Canadian Press story, between 2006 and 2008, there were 33 "MRSA staph infections" across the NFL between 2006 and 2008. That's 32 teams in the league, so, running on pure (and pretty rough) logic alone, that should be about 1 per team on average with all else being equal? Well, the Browns have had six players stricken with staph infection in "recent years", including Kellen Winslow, who raised serious concerns about staph (and caught heat from the team for it) last fall.

A lawyer for the Browns says the team denies the allegations saying that "the team's facilities are compliant with all NFL requirements" and that, "[i]n fact, an independent professional review earlier this year concluded that the Browns have taken appropriate steps to prevent MRSA infections at their facilities". Now that actual litigation has been brought by a player claiming significant consequences (the infection may have been career-ending), the league and other teams will surely keep a close eye on the case to gauge any future liability.

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