Reggie Bush is going to court. The San Francisco 49ers running back's season ended early on November 1 when he slipped on a concrete walkway inside St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome, tearing his MCL in the process.
Not only is his season over, but the 30-year-old might be facing the end of his NFL career. That's likely some of the motivation behind his decision to sue the city of St. Louis, which owns and operates the football stadium.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Bush has retained representation from high-profile attorney Shawn Holley, who was a member of the famed O.J. Simpson legal defense team.
Bush is likely to build his case around a piece of concrete that facility operators knew was too slippery to be exposed as a walkway. By failing to cover the cement or restrict players from walking on it, the facility is responsible for Bush's serious knee injury.
According to Modesto "Doc" Diaz, a California-based attorney specializing in workers' compensation and who represents a number of former and current professional athletes, Bush appears to have a great case against the facility. One key detail: Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown had fallen and injured himself on the same piece of concrete just two weeks earlier.
"Typically, those cases revolve around number one, being able to prove negligence," Diaz tells ThePostGame. "And it's a matter of what are the damages being sought. … [The City of St. Louis] has some problems. It's pretty obvious that you have an unsafe condition."
Although Bush is eligible to file for workers' compensation, such measures would only provide limited support, and they would fall far short of what Bush was entitled to earn through his contract. While is $1.6 million base salary is protected, Bush also stood to earn $18,750 for every regular-season game in which he was active. In total, Bush's one-year deal could have reached $2.5 million.
Diaz notes that a civil suit can be much more comprehensive in its renumeration than what workers' compensation will provide. Bush can seek payment for a number of reasons, including, Diaz says, "pain and suffering, and loss of future income earnings -- which for a highly compensated player or profession, that can be significant. For example, if this were to end his career, who knows what the potential damages are."
After Bush's injury, the City of St. Louis is pressuring the stadium to have the slippery concrete addressed and adequately covered before the Rams' next game against the Bears. That will save them from future lawsuits, but it won't do anything for Bush's case.
Asked to venture a guess as to the amount Bush is seeking, Diaz said a lot of factors come into play, and his legal team will likely consult with an economist while also gauging whether his football career can go on. The team is likely gathering information to determine whether St. Louis could make any defense that has merit, but the odds of that -- from the outside, anyway -- appear slim.
"It seems fairly clear that there will be some liability on the part of the people who are running the stadium," Diaz says. "It could be substantial, if he's able to come back and play and resume his career, then that's something that's definitely taken into consideration."
But Bush is facing tough odds to stick at the professional level. Hampered by a leg injury earlier in the season, the former USC star managed just eight attempts for 28 yards in 2015, along with four receptions for 19 yards. He's hit the critical 30-year-old threshold for a running back, beyond which point many see a swift decline in their performance.
Bush is a versatile back who works well as a receiving option, so that could help his case in securing a contract for next season. Still, he's smart to pursue legal action now.
"He's not as young as he used to be," says Diaz, "and it's tough coming back from that type of injury."