Photos: Oregon Spring Football Practice 4/12

Oregon Ducks offensive linemen Sam Poutasi (72) performs a blocking drill. The Oregon Ducks hold practice during their spring season at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex practice fields in Eugene, Ore. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (Aaron Nelson/Emerald)

Oregon sophomore offensive lineman Sam Poutasi is suing the University of Oregon, the NCAA, former Oregon head coach Willie Taggart and former strength coach Irele Oderinde for negligence regarding an offseason workout in January 2017 that sent him to the hospital for rhabdomyolysis.

Poutasi is suing for $5 million in damages, citing “physical and emotional pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminishment of avocational abilities,” according to the case filing.

The lawsuit lists that Poutasi claims that “negligence” of the defendants led to his injuries, which include rhabdomyolysis, swollen arms, muscle aches, loss of the use of his arms and damage to his kidneys.

Poutasi is still on the team roster, according to the UO Athletic Department.

The lawsuit comes one day after former offensive lineman Doug Brenner filed a lawsuit as one of the three players who were hospitalized. Brenner is suing for $11.5 million.

Poutasi’s lawsuit was filed in Multnomah County through Pickett Dummigan McCall LLP, a different law firm than Brenner’s lawsuit.

The suits stem from an incident that occurred in January of 2017 when the football team returned to workouts that were described as “akin to basic military training,” which Taggart argued against at the time.  

Tight end Cam McCormick, who is still on the team, was the third player hospitalized but is not a part of either lawsuit.

The information in the case filing is similar to Brenner’s, and adds: “Defendants Taggart and Oderinde informed the members of the football team, shortly after the incident, that press reports of the hospitalization of the three student athletes were ‘overblown,’ that this was ‘no big deal,’ and that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with the football practices from January 10, 2017, to January 12, 2017, that lead to the hospitalizations.”

Poutasi played in five games in 2018 for the Ducks.

"The well-being and safety of our students are our top priorities at the University of Oregon," the interim spokesperson for the UO said. "We have been advised of the litigation filed today but have not been served a copy of the complaint, at which point we will respond appropriately in the court proceedings. In light of the pending litigation, we don’t have any additional comment at this time."

The Emerald reached out for comment to the UO Athletic Department, who referred the the Universities' statement.

The Emerald will continue reporting on the situation.

This post has been updated to include comment from the Athletic Department.

Sports Editor

Shawn is an associate sports editor at the Daily Emerald, covering Oregon football, women's basketball, softball and everything in between.


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