Ex-Kicker sued Jags, citing Urban Meyer for hostility to work

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Urban Meyer, speaks with kicker Josh Lambo after the 2nd FG miss against the Denver Broncos Sept. 19, 2021 Photo by AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Former NFL field kicker Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars, seeking more than $3.5 million in salary and damages for emotional distress caused by former head coach Urban Meyer.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported details of the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Duval County’s 4th Judicial Circuit Court, alleging that Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. According to the lawsuit, Lambo says his performance suffered after being kicked and verbally abused by Meyer.

Lambo is seeking a jury trial and hopes, among other things, a verdict on backpayment owed on his 2021 salary ($3.5 million) with interest and “compensation for special damages resulting from emotional distress and damage to reputation and legal costs.” , to get costs.

The Jaguars fired Meyer on December 15, hours after the Tampa Bay Times reported that Meyer had kicked Lambo during a practice months earlier. Meyer was fired for good reason, though the team insists Lambo’s allegation had nothing to do with owner Shad Khan’s decision to end one of the most turbulent coaching tenures in NFL history.

Because Lambo reported the kicking incident to Jaguars’ legal counsel, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistle Blower’s Act, the lawsuit states.

Lambo, the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history, missed a field goal attempt in each of Jacksonville’s first two preseason games. In a practice session ahead of the final exhibition game in Dallas in August, Lambo said he stretched when Meyer walked up to him, kicked him in the leg and said, “Hey (expletive), do your (expletive) kicks!”

See also  Wayne Rooney lays down stipulation of staying connected with free-agent forward as Derby County

Lambo says he told Meyer never to hit him again, but Meyer replied with, “I’m the header coach. I’ll kick you whenever I want.”

The lawsuit states Lambo immediately reported the incident verbally through his agent, who contacted Jaguars legal counsel the day after Meyer kicked Lambo.

An employer who physically hits an employee at work and then threatens to do so again in response to resistance is illegal under Florida civil and criminal statutes, the lawsuit says.

Meyer, speaking before his release, denied the incident happened as Lambo described it.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses who refute his account,” Meyer said. “(General Manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on a number of occasions to encourage his performance and that was never addressed. I have given Josh my full support during his time with the team and wish him all the best.”

The lawsuit alleges the incident impacted Lambo’s ability to sleep, exercise and do his job as he had during his seven NFL seasons.

“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had the intended effect on Mr. Lambo, resulting in Mr. Lambo missing unusually difficult and long kicks from the distances of 55 yards, 52 yards and 58 yards,” the lawsuit reads.

Lambo was released by the Jaguars on Oct. 19, two days after Matt Wright hit two 50-yard field goals to beat Miami in London and end the franchise’s 20-game losing streak.

Leave a Comment