Kicker Josh Lambo is suing Jaguars, claiming Urban Meyer created a hostile work environment – Advice Eating

Kicker Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars seeking his $3.5 million 2021 salary plus damages for emotional distress. The lawsuit states that Lambo’s performance suffered after being kicked and verbally abused by then-head coach Urban Meyer.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Duval County’s 4th Judicial Circuit Court, alleges that Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. Because Lambo reported the incident to Jaguars’ legal counsel, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistle Blower’s Act, the lawsuit alleges.

Lambo, the fourth most accurate placekicker in NFL history, missed a field goal attempt in each of the Jaguars’ first two preseason games. In a practice session ahead of the final exhibition game against the Cowboys in August, Lambo said he was in a lunge position when Meyer approached him, kicked him in the leg, and said, “Hey dips–t, do your damn kicks! ‘”

Lambo says he told Meyer never to hit him again, but Meyer responded with, “I’m the header coach, I’ll kick you whenever I want.”

The lawsuit says Lambo immediately reported the incident verbally through his agent Richard Irvin, who contacted Jaguars legal counsel the day after Meyer kicked him.

Irvin and the Jaguars confirmed that Tampa Bay Times on December 15 that legal counsel had been contacted and offered Lambo the opportunity to meet with them. However, Lambo said he had “no recollection of being able to speak to the Jags’ legal team.”

“Jaguars Legal Counsel did indeed confirm and immediately responded to the request made by Josh Lambo’s agent on Friday, August 27, 2021,” the Jaguars said in a statement to the Times. “The attorney offered to speak to Josh or help Josh speak to coaches or other football staff if he was okay with her sharing the information. Any other suggestion is obviously wrong.”

hours after Times reported the kicking incident in December, the Jaguars fired Meyer and ended his tumultuous NFL tenure after 13 games.

An employer who physically hits an employee at work and then threatens to do so again in response to resistance is illegal under Florida civil and criminal statutes, the lawsuit says.

Meyer, speaking before his dismissal, denied the incident happened as Lambo described it.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses who refute his account,” Meyer said. “(General Manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on a number of occasions to encourage his performance and that was never addressed. I have given Josh my full support during his time with the team and wish him all the best.”

Within a day of the kicking incident, Lambo said Meyer threatened to release him, saying, “You’re the first player I’ve ever had in my career that I’ve had to speak to me like that and if you do it again, you are.” away .”

The lawsuit alleges the incident impacted Lambo’s ability to sleep, exercise and go about his job as he had during his seven NFL seasons.

Stay up to date with the Buccaneers

Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter

We will provide a weekly roundup of news and commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the season.

You are all registered!

Want more of our free weekly newsletters delivered to your inbox? Let’s begin.

Discover all your possibilities

“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had the intended effect on Mr. Lambo, resulting in Mr. Lambo missing unusually difficult and long kicks from distances of fifty-five yards, fifty-two yards and fifty-eight yards,” the lawsuit reads.

Lambo was released by the Jaguars on October 19.

The lawsuit finds the Jaguars have won just two games in 2021. “Several veteran players missed assignments, dropped passes or otherwise underperformed on the field, which directly resulted in game losses for the Jaguars. However, Mr. Lambo, the player who objected to Mr. Meyer’s illegal activity, was the only player removed from the roster by Mr. Meyer and the defendant (the Jaguars).

Lambo is seeking a jury trial and hopes to receive a verdict on back payments owed on his 2021 salary with interest, as well as “compensation for special damages resulting from emotional distress and damage to reputation and legal costs,” among other things.

Accompanying the lawsuit is a documentation request that contains all communications between Jaguars employees regarding reports made by others in the organization of Meyer’s unprofessional, bullying, abusive or toxic workplace conduct. It also requires documentation of Meyer’s termination, as well as any documents showing the basis for his dismissal is related to his conduct in the workplace and the treatment of staff, coaches or players in 2021.

• • •

Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter for updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs Beat writer Joey Knight.

Never miss the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida College Sports and more. Follow our sports team on the Tampa Bay Times Twitter and Facebook.

Leave a Comment