Ex-NFL Star Lawrence Tynes Sues Tampa Bay Buccaneers for His Career-Ending MRSA Infection

9:05 AM EDT 4/7/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Lawrence Tynes, 36, the only player in NFL history to have two overtime game-winning field goals in the playoffs, has filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for alleged unsanitary conditions that led to an MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection in 2013 that he claims ended his career.

Tynes contracted the MRSA bacterial infection in August 2013, as a result of an ingrown toenail that failed to heal, while he was with the Buccaneers. He was signed by the team in 2013 but never actually played for Tampa Bay as he was diagnosed with the infection at the start of training camp. Aside from him, two other players, Carl Nicks and Johnthan Banks, also contracted MRSA. The team had to temporarily shut down and sanitize their entire facility after three players contracted the antibiotic-resistant flesh-eating bacterial infection. Essentially, MRSA is passed around through skin-on-skin contact.

Tynes seeks $20 million in lost future earnings in addition to $15 in damages, exclusive of costs and attorneys' fees. As stated in the lawsuit, Tynes claims the team's handling of the MRSA situation "ended his career and cost him over $20 million in expected future earnings."

When Tynes contracted the infection in 2013, the Buccaneers placed him on the non-football-injury list, thereby avoiding any claim he contracted the condition at the team facility. But the team later reached a reported $3 million "amicable settlement" with Nicks who also got the infection.

The lawsuit, according to ESPN, claims the Buccaneers failed to disclose and actively concealed ongoing incidents of the infection among other individuals who used and visited the team's facilities. It reportedly also alleged that the team failed to employ necessary sterile techniques and routinely left therapy devices, equipment and surfaces unclean.

Tynes in an interview with the sports news site said: "I'm standing up for what I think is right or what I know is right. I'm in this thing 'til the very end. I'm not going away. You expect this billion-dollar enterprise to protect you at all costs, and obviously, they didn't do a lot of right things." 

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