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Stafon Johnson Files Suit Against USC

1/24/2011 4:36 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Former USC running back Stafon Johnson has filed a lawsuit against USC over a weightlifting accident that almost killed him -- claiming his USC weightlifting coach recklessly struck the bench press bar that crushed his neck.

Stafon Johnson Sues USC
Johnson claims he was bench pressing 275 pounds in the USC weight room in Sept. 2009 -- part of the required football regimen -- when Jamie Yanchar, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the football team, was "spotting" him.

While Johnson attempted to grasp the bar on his own, Yanchar allegedly struck the bar, knocking it off balance and slipping from Johnson's hands. The bar fell on to his neck causing severe injury and ending his college football career.

According to the suit, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Yanchar's "negligent, careless and reckless" action in striking the bar "substantially increased the risk inherent in Mr. Johnson's bench pressing."

Johnson -- who eventually signed with an NFL team -- is suing for unspecified damages including loss of future earnings.

UPDATE: A rep from USC released a statementt saying, "USC firmly believes it was not at fault in Stafon Johnson's unfortunate weightlifting accident.  We are sorry that Stafon was injured."

The statement continues, "USC and the entire Trojan Family have been exceptionally supportive of Stafon from the minute the accident occurred.  We are disappointed to learn that Stafon has decided to file a lawsuit against USC."

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25 COMMENTS

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1.

Uncle Rufus    

FIRST! WHO CARRRRRRRRRES! Bout being first that is...re the story, NOW this come's out??

1347 days ago
2.

TMZ@Froggy.biz    

Never spot for people at the gym. Tell them to "f*ck off" whenever they ask.

1346 days ago
3.

hebe    

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1346 days ago
4.

Tammy    

There's no way Stafon can prove he just didn't lose grip of the weight and the accident was completely his own fault.

1346 days ago
5.

estradam30    

But he can prove that he had a spotter that obviously didn't spot him very well.

1346 days ago
6.

Jordan    

No Talent to make money in the NFL so do the next best thing sue your college who tried to toughen you up for the NFL. I hope you were smart enough to get a degree you will need it.

1346 days ago
7.

GetREAL2011    

so you don't get drafted and want USC to pay you what you feel like you missed out on? dude get real! if you had any talent at all you could atleast make it to the USFL but noooo! you want the easy way out! blame someone else. MAN UP AND GO GET A 9-5 LIKE THE REST OF US YOU CHUMP!

1346 days ago
8.

Greg    

I don't think he has to prove that the spotter was at fault. He just has to prove that a percentage of the blame lies with the spotter and he gets paid. This will no doubt be settled out of court.

1346 days ago
9.

MIDNIGHT TOKER    

the problem was his hands were greasy and the bar slipped out of his hands,why blame his boyfreind the spotter

1346 days ago
10.

cochino    

loss of income? He signed with the NFL!

If he couldn't hack it in the NFL, that's on him. But if he can prove the injury hampered his performance in the NFL which caused him to give up the NFL or get cut from an NFL team, then perhaps he's on to something.

1346 days ago
11.

Mike    

It is not the responsibility of the college, the equiptment nor passerbyes to lift the weight in the fashion required to maintain the physical attributes of being a football player. The responsibilty lies soley within the capacity of the individual working the device. Anyone that ever touched equiptment in a gymnasium would have been well aware of these facts.
The individual should aquaint himself with the contract he signed when he agreed to play football with them.

1346 days ago
12.

GetREAL2011    

oh yeah thats right the titans picked him up and he got hurt. he still needs to man the hell up! every other point in my comment is valid! SCRUB!

1346 days ago
13.

brown dynamite    

GetREAL2011 every point you made was based on the fact that you got wrong. F**king idiot.

1346 days ago
14.

get real    

b.s. this part of the story didn't come out until now? looks like since dude wasn't drafted he wants to sue to get the money he feels like he missed out on. sure blame the school for you dropping the weight that was too much for you maybe? how about kudos to the school for saving your freaking life?!

signed...

get real dude!

1346 days ago
15.

Chia    

Screwing around while someone is lifting? Hope you win!

Fire that coaches butt!

1346 days ago
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