Lawsuit details surgery that ended ex-Viking Sharrif Floyd’s career

November 13, 2018

Former Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd’s $180 million lawsuit against Dr. James Andrews and others is a 42-page complaint that alleges medical malpractice throughout a September 2016 surgery alleged to have ended Floyd’s NFL career.

Eleven defendants are named in Floyd’s case to recoup money a lost NFL career.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Star Tribune, Floyd arrived at the Andrews Institute in Pensacola, Fla., surprised he’d been scheduled for surgery on his right knee. Floyd thought he was traveling for an examination but was told a minor arthroscopic procedure was needed. He consented to a procedure he was told would keep him out three to four weeks during the 2016 season.

“Mr. Floyd consented to only such a limited procedure,” according to the lawsuit, claiming documentation before surgery makes no reference to the “more invasive procedure performed.”

But Andrews and two “very new” surgical fellows performed a surgery with “far greater risks” that involved puncturing and drilling into the bone. The lawsuit claims the more advanced operation would’ve ended his year, “even if successful.” It was aimed to stimulate growth in his cartilage, for which Floyd had surgery on his other knee in 2015.

The Star Tribune left messages Monday at The Andrews Institute and Baptist Health Care seeking comment.

Floyd’s lawyers also claim he never consented to the pain blocker, which they allege was negligently administered directly into a nerve in his right knee by a contracted anesthesiologist, leading to permanent nerve and muscle damage.

According to the lawsuit, Andrews did not inform Dr. Greg Hickman, the anesthesiologist, of “patient-specific concerns,” including the pain blocker’s high risk for an athlete “approaching a contract year.” They also allege a lack of post-op communication with physical therapists regarding possible complications like nerve damage.

Floyd, who had 10.5 sacks in 45 games for the Vikings, sent and deleted last week from his official Twitter account: “We’re going all the way baby. My joy has been taken and I want it back. All #allmylifeIhadtofight @Vikings you won’t treat another kid this way ever again!”

The Vikings are not named in the lawsuit. But Floyd does have an outstanding grievance against the Vikings through the NFLPA to recoup about $4.76 million of lost salary from his $6.76 million option in 2017. The Vikings paid out a $2 million injury settlement.

Floyd later tweeted: “Sometimes tweets get mixed up and words don’t come out right. Let me be clear: Vikings fans, please know how much love I have for ALL of you!!! Your support has meant everything. It was an honor being cheered by you all.”

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