Jovan Belcher’s mother sues Kansas City Chiefs

by Walter Olson on January 3, 2014

“Jovan Belcher’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against the Chiefs, seeking unspecified damages after the former linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself in December 2012. The lawsuit… also alleges that the team … knew, or should’ve known, that Belcher showed signs of cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment.” [Kansas City Star]

{ 12 comments }

1 Boblipton 01.03.14 at 4:12 pm

Cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment? As my grandmother would have said, that’s something only a mother would understand.

Bob

2 ras 01.03.14 at 8:01 pm

The family saw nothing wrong but the team was supposed to?

Plus, from the article:

It also says the team assumed a duty to provide competent health care for Belcher when it ordered him to see a counselor on at least two occasions in October and November of 2012.

So the team did a check-up on the player, presumably as a general precautionary measure, or maybe even because they saw something specifically worthy of a precautionary measure. For this, they purportedly “assumed a duty to provide competent health care” and should be punished? Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

3 bremen 01.04.14 at 9:59 am

Translation: The gravy train that was his salary came off the tracks when he shot himself. There being no other deep pockets around to sue, the family will now try and shake down his employers and associated entities for enough to live in style for the rest of their lives. Its for the child, don’t you know…

4 TexJudge 01.04.14 at 1:25 pm

This is ridiculous; Mr. Belcher shot himself of his own free will and no employer should be liable for the voluntary criminal act of its employee. How could the Chiefs reasonably foresee that he would try to kill himself; his coaches are experts on the Cover Two and Play Action but they are not MD psychiatrists. If we had loser pays like every other civilized First World country these kind of actions would never be filed.

5 Ron Miller 01.06.14 at 2:09 pm

I blame the lawyer that brings this claim, not the parents. Jabbing at them going after the gravy train without any foundation is the wrong approach.

6 Boblipton 01.06.14 at 9:13 pm

I understand your attitude that the lawyer who took the case deserves some of the blame, Ron, but while I agree that he is abetting the insanity, your position implies that he is in complete control. Assuming that is the case, what is the profession doing to improve the situation?

You may argue that is is an anecdote and that typification is unwarranted and the third (probably) will not survive. I think you’re lost in the details and not seeing the forest for the trees.

Bob

7 Ron Miller 01.07.14 at 4:34 pm

What trees can be seen from looking at one lawsuit?

The lawyer is complete control over whether he puts his name on a complaint.

8 Boblipton 01.07.14 at 8:28 pm

And Jovan Belcher’s mother has no choice in the matter?

Bob

9 D 01.08.14 at 3:13 pm

Look, Ron and Bob. Moe already taught us how to handle this situation. Grab Curly by one ear, Larry by one ear, and clap once. The judge should now take lawyer Larry by the ear and drag him into his office for a chat. He is abetting the gravy train chasers who are equally responsible.

10 Ron Miller 01.08.14 at 3:41 pm

D, that’s not how it works. This is not Mayberry and the judge is not Barney’s best friend. I think people on both sides of this argument will agree this is not the answer.

11 Boblipton 01.08.14 at 7:52 pm

I agree with you on this point, Ron, but it’s reluctantly. I’m not a Stooges fan, but it would be satisfying, however briefly.

Bob

12 Ron Miller 01.09.14 at 2:59 pm

I never liked the Stooges. Hated it when it came on.

Bob, my point is that a grieving mother gets a lot more slack. She goes to the lawyer and says, “Do we have a case?” I’m not expecting her to understand the nuances of negligence law and the proof requirements she will face.

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