St. Louis jury finds Rams liable for Reggie Bush injury, orders team to pay $12.5 million

Midway through the 2015 NFL season, then-49ers running back Reggie Bush suffered a season-ending knee injury when he slipped on the concrete ring surrounding the field at the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams' former home in St. Louis. More than two-and-a-half years later, the Rams were found liable for the injury.

On Tuesday, a St. Louis jury ordered the Rams, who now reside in Los Angeles, to pay Bush $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages for a grand total of nearly $12.5 million, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Dan Allmayer, a lawyer for the team, said that they plan to file a motion for a new trial.

"I'm very happy with the verdict," Bush told the Post-Dispatch. "The people spoke and decided very fairly."

The injury, a torn MCL, occurred on Nov. 1, 2015 during the middle of Bush's 10th season in the NFL and first with the 49ers. On a punt return, Bush slipped on the concrete that surrounded the turf after being pushed out of bounds. Days later, he underwent season-ending surgery.

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Bush would go on to sign a one-year, incentive-based contract with the Bills in 2016, but he finished with only 87 yards from scrimmage in a 13-game season. He didn't play in the NFL again. According to the Post-Dispatch, "Bush claimed the injury undermined his chances to get a more lucrative contract the following season and hurt the rest of his playing career" while Allmayer argued Bush's injury resulted from "pre-existing issues."

"Football is risky and being pushed out of bounds is a risky part of the game," Allmayer said, per the Post-Dispatch. "Reggie Bush is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. Why didn't he swerve or do something to avoid the concrete? .... Why in 20 years had all sorts of running backs who had been pushed out of bounds not reach the concrete?"

Bush maintained that the injury ended his career prematurely. 

"It ultimately ended my career," Bush said. "I wasn't ready to end. I wanted to keep playing. I wanted to go out on my own terms. I never envisioned, as a little boy, my career ending, slipping and falling on concrete during a football game."

Bush's 11-year career, which he spent with the Saints, Dolphins, Lions, 49ers, and Bills, included 9,088 yards and 54 touchdowns from scrimmage, and four punt-return touchdowns. But he's best remembered for his historic career at USC, where he won a Heisman Trophy before he was stripped of the award in 2010 after the NCAA found that Bush received improper benefits. He entered the NFL as the second-overall pick in 2006.

Bush, 33, now works as an analyst for NFL Network.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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