A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo claiming that former coach Urban Meyer kicked him, hurt his reputation and created a hostile work environment.
On a motion from the Jaguars’ attorneys, Duval County Circuit Judge Gilbert Feltel Jr. dismissed the suit Nov. 8, giving Lambo 21 days to file an amended complaint.
Lambo’s attorney, Elizabeth Brown of Tallahassee, told WJCT News that they are “definitely pressing forward” with an amended complaint.
“The Jaguars’ legal counsel raised issues in their filings pertaining to the applicability of Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act to Josh’s case,” Brown said in an email. “We requested leave to amend the Complaint with the intent to resolve the matters raised through amendment.”
The kicker, released in October 2021, filed the lawsuit in May, demanding full back pay as well as damages. In the suit, Lambo reiterated complaints he had made about Meyer kicking him during a practice in August 2021.
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Lambo says he was in a lunge position as part of his workout before the Dallas Cowboys preseason game when he was attacked, he said.
“Mr. Meyer approached him, kicked him in the leg, and used profanity to insult Mr. Lambo and warn him to make his kicks,” the suit said.
The suit then quotes Meyer as using profanity, while Lambo said he objected to the “physical battery” and told Meyer he was out of line.
“Don’t ever … kick me again,” the suit states Lambo told Meyer, who responded that he was coach and “I’ll kick you” whenever he wanted to, the suit said.
The lawsuit said Lambo immediately reported the incident to the team through his agent, but the Jaguars did not investigate or report it to the NFL. Further, Lambo said Meyer told him he would be cut from the team if he ever objected to the coach’s behavior or “challenged his authority again.”
Jaguars owner Shad Khan ultimately fired Meyer in December, saying he was “bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone.” Meyer’s firing came just after the Tampa Bay Times reported the kicking and cursing incident.
The 501-page motion to dismiss countered Lambo’s claim that he was a whistleblower or victim of retaliation. It stated that the former player “cannot establish that he engaged in protected activity” under the Whistleblower Act, designed to protect private employees who report or refuse to assist employers who violate laws enacted to protect the public.
The motion also states that Lambo acknowledged that his performance during that 2021 season “dramatically declined” and his lawsuit ignored his dismissal by the team “for his obvious and extreme decline in on-field performance.”