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Former Cleveland Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius sues team, doctors, Cleveland Clinic over staph infection

by Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer

Friday June 26, 2009, 11:27 AM

 

Former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius has filed a civil suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against the Browns, the Cleveland Clinic, former team physician Dr. Anthony Miniaci and current team physician Dr. Richard Figler, for negligence and fraud that he alleges led to a staph infection that might have ended his NFL career.

 

The suit claims that the Browns and their team physicians failed to warn Jurevicius that sterile techniques were not at all times used at the Browns training facility in Berea; that therapy devices passed among multiple individuals, including Browns players, were not properly maintained and/or cleaned, if at all; and that community equipment and frequently used surfaces were not properly cleaned, if at all.

 

Jurevicius, a former star at Lake Catholic High School, maintains that he contracted staph in his knee because he was not warned and because Browns staff members did not tell the truth about maintenance and cleaning of the Browns facility.

 

Browns director of public relations Neal Gulkis did not immediately return a call for comment.

 

Jurevicius underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 7, 2008 and began his post-operative rehab at the Browns facility. On Jan. 21, 2008, his right knee became swollen, he was unable to walk, and he experienced severe shaking and chills. The next day he was diagnosed with a staph infection. Since that time he has undergone seven medical procedures designed to eradicate the staph.

 

The Browns released Jurevicius on March 12, rather than pay him a roster bonus. He was due to make $2.4 million in the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2006.

 

Click to read an October 2008 story on staph infections' impact on the Browns.

 

Jurevicius' staph infection was one of seven publicized incidents of staph infection the Browns have had since 2003.

 

• Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., traded to Tampa Bay this offseason, suffered two. His first case came in 2005 after surgery to repair a torn knee ligament in which he was hospitalized and lost almost 30 pounds. The second was last season.

 

• Former Browns center LeCharles Bentley remains out of football after suffering a staph infection that he said was life-threatening. The infection was diagnosed shortly after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee in 2006.

 

• Jurevicius' infection surfaced two weeks after his arthroscopic knee surgery in January of 2008.

 

• Receiver Braylon Edwards missed two games during his rookie year in 2005 with a staph infection that had to be surgically removed from his right arm.

 

• A recurring staph infection in an elbow all but wiped out former safety Brian Russell's 2006 season.

 

• In late 2003, former linebacker Ben Taylor wound up in the Cleveland Clinic for five days with a staph infection after reporting to practice with a scratch near his elbow and flulike symptoms that worsened during the day.

 

 

The Browns may have tried to bring Jurevicius back for this season at the NFL minimum salary of $845,000 for veterans of 10 or more years -- the same concession made by offensive lineman Ryan Tucker. General manager George Kokinis talked with Jurevicius' agents about a deal at the NFL Combine. "We tried to work something out and it just ended up not coming to a conclusion," Kokinis said then. ". . . Joe's done a lot. I know what he means to this team."

In a statement issued at that time by agent Mark Humenik, Jurevicius indicated there was more than money involved in the Browns' decision.

 

The statement said: "As a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, I always hoped to finish my career in brown and orange with my family and friends in the stands, and was even willing to take a steep pay cut to keep that dream alive, which is why I have such a heavy heart today."

 

Jurevicius, a native of Timberlake, Ohio, said at that time he will "forever cherish the three seasons that I spent here and will never forget the chills that I got whenever I stepped foot on the field on the shores of Lake Erie."

 

A marriage of Jurevicius and new coach Eric Mangini seemed doomed from the start. In December, Jurevicius was one of the few players to speak out publicly and endorse the Phil Savage-Romeo Crennel management team. He felt the 4-12 season in 2008 was an aberration caused by injuries and roster immaturity. He appealed to Lerner to stay the course.

 

Jurevicius played in three Super Bowls with three different teams in his career before signing with the Browns in 2006. In that off-season, he joined local products LeCharles Bentley and Bob Hallen, both centers, and punter Dave Zastudil in using free agency to return home to play. Only Zastudil remains.

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CLEVELAND BROWNS

Football News, Schedule, Pictures, Roster & More

 

Former Cleveland Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius sues team, doctors, Cleveland Clinic over staph infection

by Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer

Friday June 26, 2009, 11:27 AM

 

Former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius has filed a civil suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against the Browns, the Cleveland Clinic, former team physician Dr. Anthony Miniaci and current team physician Dr. Richard Figler, for negligence and fraud that he alleges led to a staph infection that might have ended his NFL career.

 

The suit claims that the Browns and their team physicians failed to warn Jurevicius that sterile techniques were not at all times used at the Browns training facility in Berea; that therapy devices passed among multiple individuals, including Browns players, were not properly maintained and/or cleaned, if at all; and that community equipment and frequently used surfaces were not properly cleaned, if at all.

 

Jurevicius, a former star at Lake Catholic High School, maintains that he contracted staph in his knee because he was not warned and because Browns staff members did not tell the truth about maintenance and cleaning of the Browns facility.

 

Browns director of public relations Neal Gulkis did not immediately return a call for comment.

 

Jurevicius underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 7, 2008 and began his post-operative rehab at the Browns facility. On Jan. 21, 2008, his right knee became swollen, he was unable to walk, and he experienced severe shaking and chills. The next day he was diagnosed with a staph infection. Since that time he has undergone seven medical procedures designed to eradicate the staph.

 

The Browns released Jurevicius on March 12, rather than pay him a roster bonus. He was due to make $2.4 million in the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2006.

 

Click to read an October 2008 story on staph infections' impact on the Browns.

 

Jurevicius' staph infection was one of seven publicized incidents of staph infection the Browns have had since 2003.

 

• Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., traded to Tampa Bay this offseason, suffered two. His first case came in 2005 after surgery to repair a torn knee ligament in which he was hospitalized and lost almost 30 pounds. The second was last season.

 

• Former Browns center LeCharles Bentley remains out of football after suffering a staph infection that he said was life-threatening. The infection was diagnosed shortly after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee in 2006.

 

• Jurevicius' infection surfaced two weeks after his arthroscopic knee surgery in January of 2008.

 

• Receiver Braylon Edwards missed two games during his rookie year in 2005 with a staph infection that had to be surgically removed from his right arm.

 

• A recurring staph infection in an elbow all but wiped out former safety Brian Russell's 2006 season.

 

• In late 2003, former linebacker Ben Taylor wound up in the Cleveland Clinic for five days with a staph infection after reporting to practice with a scratch near his elbow and flulike symptoms that worsened during the day.

 

 

The Browns may have tried to bring Jurevicius back for this season at the NFL minimum salary of $845,000 for veterans of 10 or more years -- the same concession made by offensive lineman Ryan Tucker. General manager George Kokinis talked with Jurevicius' agents about a deal at the NFL Combine. "We tried to work something out and it just ended up not coming to a conclusion," Kokinis said then. ". . . Joe's done a lot. I know what he means to this team."

In a statement issued at that time by agent Mark Humenik, Jurevicius indicated there was more than money involved in the Browns' decision.

 

The statement said: "As a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, I always hoped to finish my career in brown and orange with my family and friends in the stands, and was even willing to take a steep pay cut to keep that dream alive, which is why I have such a heavy heart today."

 

Jurevicius, a native of Timberlake, Ohio, said at that time he will "forever cherish the three seasons that I spent here and will never forget the chills that I got whenever I stepped foot on the field on the shores of Lake Erie."

 

A marriage of Jurevicius and new coach Eric Mangini seemed doomed from the start. In December, Jurevicius was one of the few players to speak out publicly and endorse the Phil Savage-Romeo Crennel management team. He felt the 4-12 season in 2008 was an aberration caused by injuries and roster immaturity. He appealed to Lerner to stay the course.

 

Jurevicius played in three Super Bowls with three different teams in his career before signing with the Browns in 2006. In that off-season, he joined local products LeCharles Bentley and Bob Hallen, both centers, and punter Dave Zastudil in using free agency to return home to play. Only Zastudil remains.

 

Can't say that I blame him.

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He's in the right......

 

Can't say that I blame him.

 

Suing the hospital/doctor is one thing. Suing the team is another thing entirely.

 

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Suing the hospital/doctor is one thing. Suing the team is another thing entirely.

Why? Did you read the article? Did you read what it said about cleaning and maintenance of the equipment in the "Browns training room?"

 

I am thinking class action lawsuit involving past players.

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Why? Did you read the article? Did you read what it said about cleaning and maintenance of the equipment in the "Browns training room?"

 

I am thinking class action lawsuit involving past players.

 

 

Im sure Bently has already called JJ

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Well at first I was thinking "say it ain't so Joe," but definitely not after finishing this article.

 

When there is a systematic trend in infection rates (Winslow, Braylon, LeCharles, Joe J, Russell) it really points to negligence somewhere down the line.

 

I hope this lawsuit is a kick in the ass. The Browns and anyone else responsible need to realize that this type of publicity is just embarrassing.

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community equipment and frequently used surfaces were not properly cleaned, if at all.

 

Come on. I wipe the equipment down before I use it at my gym, which I'm sure isn't nearly as nice as where Braylon works out.

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Come on. I wipe the equipment down before I use it at my gym, which I'm sure isn't nearly as nice as where Braylon works out.

Wiping down equipment and thoroughly disinfecting it is two different things.

He has a right to sue, geez it kinda wiped out his whole last season.

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Its gonna be hard to prove to Browns were negligent in the way they went about it especially since they did hire a outside firm to dissenfect the entire building on multiple occasions. I dont no what else they could have done, other than keep players away that had recent surgury

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Business is business, and JJ is doing what he has to do to provide for his, and his families future. Nothing different then any one of us would do.

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CLEVELAND BROWNS

Football News, Schedule, Pictures, Roster & More

 

Former Cleveland Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius sues team, doctors, Cleveland Clinic over staph infection

by Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer

Friday June 26, 2009, 11:27 AM

 

Former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius has filed a civil suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against the Browns, the Cleveland Clinic, former team physician Dr. Anthony Miniaci and current team physician Dr. Richard Figler, for negligence and fraud that he alleges led to a staph infection that might have ended his NFL career.

 

The suit claims that the Browns and their team physicians failed to warn Jurevicius that sterile techniques were not at all times used at the Browns training facility in Berea; that therapy devices passed among multiple individuals, including Browns players, were not properly maintained and/or cleaned, if at all; and that community equipment and frequently used surfaces were not properly cleaned, if at all.

 

Jurevicius, a former star at Lake Catholic High School, maintains that he contracted staph in his knee because he was not warned and because Browns staff members did not tell the truth about maintenance and cleaning of the Browns facility.

 

Browns director of public relations Neal Gulkis did not immediately return a call for comment.

 

Jurevicius underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 7, 2008 and began his post-operative rehab at the Browns facility. On Jan. 21, 2008, his right knee became swollen, he was unable to walk, and he experienced severe shaking and chills. The next day he was diagnosed with a staph infection. Since that time he has undergone seven medical procedures designed to eradicate the staph.

 

The Browns released Jurevicius on March 12, rather than pay him a roster bonus. He was due to make $2.4 million in the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2006.

 

Click to read an October 2008 story on staph infections' impact on the Browns.

 

Jurevicius' staph infection was one of seven publicized incidents of staph infection the Browns have had since 2003.

 

• Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., traded to Tampa Bay this offseason, suffered two. His first case came in 2005 after surgery to repair a torn knee ligament in which he was hospitalized and lost almost 30 pounds. The second was last season.

 

• Former Browns center LeCharles Bentley remains out of football after suffering a staph infection that he said was life-threatening. The infection was diagnosed shortly after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee in 2006.

 

• Jurevicius' infection surfaced two weeks after his arthroscopic knee surgery in January of 2008.

 

• Receiver Braylon Edwards missed two games during his rookie year in 2005 with a staph infection that had to be surgically removed from his right arm.

 

• A recurring staph infection in an elbow all but wiped out former safety Brian Russell's 2006 season.

 

• In late 2003, former linebacker Ben Taylor wound up in the Cleveland Clinic for five days with a staph infection after reporting to practice with a scratch near his elbow and flulike symptoms that worsened during the day.

 

 

The Browns may have tried to bring Jurevicius back for this season at the NFL minimum salary of $845,000 for veterans of 10 or more years -- the same concession made by offensive lineman Ryan Tucker. General manager George Kokinis talked with Jurevicius' agents about a deal at the NFL Combine. "We tried to work something out and it just ended up not coming to a conclusion," Kokinis said then. ". . . Joe's done a lot. I know what he means to this team."

In a statement issued at that time by agent Mark Humenik, Jurevicius indicated there was more than money involved in the Browns' decision.

 

The statement said: "As a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, I always hoped to finish my career in brown and orange with my family and friends in the stands, and was even willing to take a steep pay cut to keep that dream alive, which is why I have such a heavy heart today."

 

Jurevicius, a native of Timberlake, Ohio, said at that time he will "forever cherish the three seasons that I spent here and will never forget the chills that I got whenever I stepped foot on the field on the shores of Lake Erie."

 

A marriage of Jurevicius and new coach Eric Mangini seemed doomed from the start. In December, Jurevicius was one of the few players to speak out publicly and endorse the Phil Savage-Romeo Crennel management team. He felt the 4-12 season in 2008 was an aberration caused by injuries and roster immaturity. He appealed to Lerner to stay the course.

 

Jurevicius played in three Super Bowls with three different teams in his career before signing with the Browns in 2006. In that off-season, he joined local products LeCharles Bentley and Bob Hallen, both centers, and punter Dave Zastudil in using free agency to return home to play. Only Zastudil remains.

 

 

Hi, I'm Tim Misney. If you can't play I'll make em pay!

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Business is business, and JJ is doing what he has to do to provide for his, and his families future. Nothing different then any one of us would do.

 

 

Please.. don't lump the rest of us in with Joe J and the rest of our overlitigious society. I for one would NEVER sue the Browns for that. That's just how I believe it's done. I suppose he is going to blame his initial knee injury on them somehow too. Whiner.

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1) He'll never win this case unless he can show there was a deviation from a standard of care. The Browns brought in an outside agency to clean the facility but ultimately the responsibility for cleanliness winds up with the individuals. Staph lives on our skin so it's naturally there; remember that there is a difference between staph and drug-resistant staph.

 

2) The cases of resistant staph (MRSA) are usually associated with the Browns in the media, however, I have it on first hand authority that every single team has had one and last year there was a team that had five (and it wasn't the Browns).

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Come on. I wipe the equipment down before I use it at my gym, which I'm sure isn't nearly as nice as where Braylon works out.

And if you went to the doctor and got staph from an open wound he was examining because he didn't bother to clean his tools from the last guy I suppose that would be your fault for not making sure his equipment was sterile?

Go get 'em Joe and LCB!

Make those bastards accountable for their negligence.

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And if you went to the doctor and got staph from an open wound he was examining because he didn't bother to clean his tools from the last guy I suppose that would be your fault for not making sure his equipment was sterile?

 

No one said he had an "open wound". Second, these weren't dirty scalpels or operative instruments. He used the rehab equipment (weight machines, etc). Not to disparage his problem but Jurevicius could have gotten resistant staph from picking his nose. Even in the best of circumstances, staph is exceptionally hard to eradicate without essentially perfect hygiene. If you are trying to get rid of it from a place where people sweat a lot it's almost impossible.

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Jurevicius underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 7, 2008 and began his post-operative rehab at the Browns facility. On Jan. 21, 2008, his right knee became swollen, he was unable to walk, and he experienced severe shaking and chills. The next day he was diagnosed with a staph infection. Since that time he has undergone seven medical procedures designed to eradicate the staph.

It's not just a problem with certain teams in the NFL its a problem in the entire league. Some more so than others.

Jurevicius' staph infection was one of seven "publicized" incidents of staph infection the Browns have had since 2003.

By the sounds of that statement there could be more cases that were kept hush, hush.

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And if you went to the doctor and got staph from an open wound he was examining because he didn't bother to clean his tools from the last guy I suppose that would be your fault for not making sure his equipment was sterile?

Go get 'em Joe and LCB!

Make those bastards accountable for their negligence.

 

 

That's fine with me, as I stated previously. But suing the team???????

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1) He'll never win this case unless he can show there was a deviation from a standard of care. The Browns brought in an outside agency to clean the facility but ultimately the responsibility for cleanliness winds up with the individuals. Staph lives on our skin so it's naturally there; remember that there is a difference between staph and drug-resistant staph.

 

2) The cases of resistant staph (MRSA) are usually associated with the Browns in the media, however, I have it on first hand authority that every single team has had one and last year there was a team that had five (and it wasn't the Browns).

 

Very true. Staph is on the rise all through out the country.

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So he should just carpetbomb with the hope of something sticking?

i thought that was how we roll in the good 'ol U.S. of A...?

 

Joe defended many things no one else cared to, and spoke out on other taboo topics he felt needed voiced. if this is what avenue he's decided to pursue, that's more than enough for me.

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