Chargers Team Doctor Being Sued By QB Tyrod Taylor Over 2020 Punctured Lung Incident

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen have obtained details of the lawsuit filed by Giants QB Tyrod Taylor against Chargers team doctor David Gazzaniga for an incident in 2020 when Gazzaniga accidentally punctured Taylor’s lung. 

Justin Herbert

Taylor is suing Gazzaniga for medical malpractice and seeking damages of at least $5 million. Gazzaniga was giving Taylor a rib block injection to deal with pain from fractured ribs when he accidentally punctured Taylor’s lungs.

He had to miss multiple games and it opened the door for current Chargers starting QB Justin Herbert — who is dealing with a rib cartilage injury of his own from Thursday night’s game. Gazzaniga is still employed by the team and was part of the team giving medical care to Herbert. 

Schefter says the NFLPA and Herbert’s representatives are planning to pay close attention to how the Chargers handle Herbert’s injury. 

Taylor filed the lawsuit in May of 2021 and the trial was originally set for this November. It was pushed back to April of 2023 to not conflict with the NFL season. 

In the lawsuit, Taylor says he suffered “severe physical pain resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other past pain and suffering.” He says the injury cost him the Chargers’ starting job and damaged his value in a contract year. 

“As he returned to free agency,” the lawsuit contends, “he entered as a back-up quarterback as opposed to a starting quarterback. The economic difference between a starting quarterback’s salary and a back-up quarterback salary is at least $5,000,000 and is more than likely much greater. The exact amount of such past and future loss is unknown to [Taylor] at this time, and he will ask leave of this Court for permission to amend this Complaint to set forth the total amount when ascertained.”

Taylor, 32, is a former sixth-round pick of the Ravens back in 2011. After four years in Baltimore, Taylor signed on with the Bills for the 2015 season. Buffalo elected to trade Taylor to the Browns for a third-round pick in 2018. 

Taylor played out the final year of a two-year, $30.5 million contract before agreeing to a two-year contract worth $11 million with the Chargers in 2019. He then signed a one-year deal with the Texans worth up to $12.5 million for the 2021 season.

The Giants signed Taylor this offseason to a two-year deal worth $17 million with $8.5 million guaranteed. 

In 2021, Taylor appeared in six games for the Texans and completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 966 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing 19 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns.

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