JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former NFL kicker Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars seeking more than $3.5 million in salary and former head coach Urban Meyer ) for emotional distress caused.
The Tampa Bay Times first reported details of the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Duval County’s 4th Judicial Circuit, alleging that Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. Rambo said his performance was compromised by being kicked and verbally abused by Meyer, according to the lawsuit.
Rambo is seeking a jury trial and wants a verdict on wages and interest owed on his 2021 salary ($3.5 million) and “compensation for any special damages such as emotional stress, reputational damage and litigation costs.” cost.
The Jaguars fired Meyer on Dec. 15, hours after The Times reported that Meyer had kicked Rambo during a practice a few months earlier. Meyer was fired for a reason, though the team insists Rambo’s allegations have nothing to do with owner Shad Khan’s decision to end one of the most tumultuous coaching tenures in NFL history.
Because Rambo reported the kick to the Jaguars’ legal counsel, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistleblower Act, the lawsuit alleges.
Rambo, the fourth most accurate shooter in NFL history, missed a shot in Jacksonville’s first two preseason games. During a practice before his final exhibition game in Dallas in August, Rambo said he was stretching when Meyer approached him, kicked his leg and said, “Hey (expletive), kick your (expletive) !”
Rambo said he told Meyer to stop hitting him, but Meyer replied: “I’m the header coach. I’ll kick you whenever I want (expletive).”
The lawsuit says Rambo immediately reported the incident verbally through his agent Richard Owen, who contacted Jaguars legal counsel the day after Meyer kicked him.
The lawsuit alleges that under Florida’s civil and criminal laws, it is illegal for an employer to physically assault an employee on the job and then threaten to do so again in response to resistance.
Meyer, speaking before his dismissal, denied that the incident happened in the way Rambo described.
“Josh’s description of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are witnesses who refute his account,” Meyer said. “(General manager) Trent (Balke) and I met with him many times to encourage his performance, but it was never brought up. I fully supported Josh during his time with him and wished him all the best. “
The lawsuit said the incident affected Rambo’s ability to sleep, practice and work over seven NFL seasons.
“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had the intended effect on Mr. Rambo, causing Mr. Rambo to uncharacteristically miss difficult and long kicks from 55, 52 and 58 yards,” the lawsuit states.
Rambo was released by the Jaguars on Oct. 19, two days after Matt Wright snapped a 20-game losing streak against the Miami Heat in London with two 50-plus field goals.
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