LeCharles Bentley Sues Browns, Claims He Almost Died From Staph Infection
LeCharles Bentley has filed a civil suit in Cuyahoga (Oh.) County Court of Common Pleas against the team. The suit states Bentley "nearly lost his life" because of a staph infection he got while rehabbing from knee surgery at the team's facility.
The suit contains claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation against the Browns, and procedurally asks for more than $25,000 in damages.
"The Browns convinced LeCharles to rehab at their facility," Bentley's attorney, Shannon Polk, said Thursday. "Nothing required him to do it (there). That wasn't part of his job. They told him their facility was the best and that they had successfully helped others. But they never told him about a host of unsanitary conditions there and they never told him about the list of others who contracted staph before he chose to rehab there.
"Had the Browns disclosed that stuff to him, had they been straight with him, he would have never agreed to rehab at their training facility.
"The man nearly died from the staph infection he got there."
Browns spokesman and vice president Neal Gulkis said the team would have no comment at this time.
Former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius, another Cleveland native whose career also was ended by a Staph infection he suffered while with the Browns, filed a similar lawsuit. It was settled in June, with terms of the settlement confidential. Other former Browns players who had Staph include Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards and Brian Russell.
Bentley declined comment, but in his duties as a talk-show host on WKNR-850 in Cleveland, he has discussed what he said were signs Staph was prevalent in the team's facility. There have been reports that he almost lost his leg to the Staph.
The suit states that former trainer Marty Lauzon and GM Phil Savage both told Bentley his rehab would be complete and safe, and that Bentley had the dressing from his surgical wound changed at the team's facility. Just less than a month after the surgery, he was diasgnosed with Staph.
The suit alleges the facility was not properly sterilized, and states that Bentley "underwent multiple surgeries and medical procedures designed to eradicate the staph infection, and nearly lost his life."
Bentley grew up in Cleveland and played at Ohio State before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2002. He played four years for the Saints, then signed with the Browns as a free agent in the spring of 2006.
On the first full-team play of his first training camp, he tore his patella tendon. He had surgery within days. The surgery ended his season; the staph ended his career.