05/12/2022

Judge dismisses former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo’s lawsuit against team | CNN




CNN
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A Florida judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former NFL kicker Josh Lambo against the Jacksonville Jaguars in which he sought back pay and damages for emotional distress allegedly inflicted by the team’s former head coach Urban Meyer, whom he accused of creating a “hostile work environment.”

The lawsuit, filed in May in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, was dismissed without prejudice by Judge G.L. Feltel Jr. on November 8, according to court records.

Lambo was given 21 days to file an amended complaint. Lambo’s attorney, Betsy Brown, told CNN her client intends to do so.

The judge tossed the case after the Jaguars filed a motion in July to dismiss the lawsuit, contending Lambo “is not a whistleblower or a victim of retaliation,” as he argued in the complaint.

The Jaguars said Lambo admitted in the complaint that the club “separated his employment due to his unsatisfactory performance on the football field.”

The team claimed that while Lambo’s suit alleged wrongdoing on Meyer’s part, it failed “to show Meyer’s actions were committed within the scope of his employment or ratified by the team.”

Further, the team argued the alleged conduct Lambo complained about was not protected activity under the Florida Whistleblower Act.

CNN has reached out to the Jaguars for comment.

In the lawsuit, Lambo said that during a practice in August 2021, Meyer “kicked him in the leg, and used profanity to insult (him) and warn him to make his kicks. Specifically, (Meyer) allegedly screamed at (Lambo), ‘Hey Dips**t, make your f**king kicks!’”

Lambo responded to Meyer, telling the coach, “‘Don’t you ever f**king kick me again!’ [Meyer] responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f**k I want,’” according to the lawsuit

Meyer denied Lambo’s allegations to the Tampa Bay Times in December.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer told the paper. “(General manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”

The lawsuit alleged Lambo informed the Jaguars about the incident through his agent, Richard Irvin, but the team “did not initiate an investigation” nor “intervene in the close working conditions” between the two.

The Jaguars cut Lambo in October after the kicker missed all three of his field-goal attempts in the first three weeks of the 2021 season. Lambo’s lawsuit said his missed field goals “did not cause any losses for the Jaguars.”

According to the lawsuit, Lambo claimed his release violated the Florida Private Sector Whistle-blower’s Act “concerning assault, battery, and workplace violence in furtherance of an employer’s interest.”

After he was cut, the lawsuit alleged, Lambo “suffered professional ramifications including lost wages, benefits and other remuneration, as well as extreme emotional and mental distress because of the harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation” by the Jaguars.

The Jaguars fired Meyer in December 2021 after 13 games (2-11) in his first NFL coaching season.

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