Home Field Advantage: Reggie Bush and L.A. Rams Spar Over Proper Venue for Negligence Lawsuit

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush made a motion to remand a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Rams to state court on Thursday, March 24, 2016, following the Rams’ removal of the case to the Eastern District of Missouri.

During a November game at the Rams’ stadium, Bush ran onto a concrete surface which surrounds the field, where he slipped and injured his left knee. According to the suit, this incident occurred just one week after John McCown, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, injured his shoulder in a similar manner.

The Rams argue that removal to federal court was proper because, though Bush’s suit is styled as a state-law tort claim, the Labor Management Relations Act should preempt the applicability of state law. According to the Rams, both it and Bush are bound by a collective bargaining agreement which “governs all clubs and players with respect to player safety and the condition of the playing field.”

Bush’s motion to remand, however, contends the following:

The Rams improperly removed this suit to federal court because Bush’s garden-variety negligence claims clearly arise out of the defendants’ common law duties to invitees, and no CBA provision need even be consulted, let alone interpreted, to resolve this suit.

The action seeks punitive damages in excess of $25,000 because, it claims, the defendants’ conduct indicated complete indifference and conscious disregard for Bush’s safety.

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