Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner demands $100 million from NCAA for ‘permanent injuries’

Former University of Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner has added a $100 million demand against the NCAA for punitive damages in his ongoing lawsuit against the collegiate athletic organization, the school, and then-Ducks head coach Willie Taggart over allegedly permanent injuries he sustained during controversial workouts in 2017.

Brenner was one of three Ducks players hospitalized in 2017 following intense morning workouts in which teammates vomited, passed out, or collapsed, according to reports at the time. Players were allegedly prohibited from even drinking water on the first day of the workouts, but coaches later dropped that restriction and began providing oxygen tanks as well.

In his lawsuit, Brenner claims he suffered permanent renal injury that makes him more susceptible to ‘kidney failure, kidney disease, and death.’

Brenner originally sued the school, Taggart, and the NCAA in 2019, seeking $11.5. Now, in a filing provided to DailyMail.com by his attorneys, Brenner has increased his claim for pain and suffering from $6 million to $20 million, while also adding the $100 million claim for punitive damages against the NCAA.

In total, he’s now seeking $125.5 million.

Former University of Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner has added a $100 million demand against the NCAA for punitive damages in his ongoing lawsuit against the college athletic organization, the school, and then-Ducks head coach Willie Taggart over allegedly permanent injuries he sustained during controversial workouts in 2017

Doug Brenner (57) poses with the Leishman trophy at media day for the 2015 Rose Bow

Former University of Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner (left, right) has added a $100 million demand against the NCAA for punitive damages in his ongoing lawsuit against the college athletic organization, the school, and then-Ducks head coach Willie Taggart over allegedly permanent injuries he sustained during controversial workouts in 2017

Now-former Ducks head coach Willie Taggart (pictured) is also included in Brenner's lawsuit

Now-former Ducks head coach Willie Taggart (pictured) is also included in Brenner’s lawsuit

Brenner's attorneys at the law firm of Kafoury & McDougal amended his complaint on March 24 after discovery that included testimony from NCAA president Mark Emmert (pictured) and chief medical officer Brian Hainline.  In his deposition, Emmert denied that the NCAA is responsible for player safety.  'I've never talked to a president that they think that the responsibility is of a sport association to tell them how their medical professionals and training professionals should behave on campus,' Emmert said

Brenner’s attorneys at the law firm of Kafoury & McDougal amended his complaint on March 24 after discovery that included testimony from NCAA president Mark Emmert (pictured) and chief medical officer Brian Hainline. In his deposition, Emmert denied that the NCAA is responsible for player safety. ‘I’ve never talked to a president that they think that the responsibility is of a sport association to tell them how their medical professionals and training professionals should behave on campus,’ Emmert said

‘Defendant NCAAA (sic) acted with malice or has shown a reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and has acted with a conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare of others,’ read the complaint provided to DailyMail. com.

The NCAA declined to comment to DailyMail.com.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday in Eugene, Oregon, where the University is located.

Brenner’s attorneys at the law firm of Kafoury & McDougal amended his complaint on March 24 after discovery that included testimony from NCAA president Mark Emmert and chief medical officer Brian Hainline. It was also revealed that then-Oregon strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde was not certified to be in that role at the time.

According to the filing, Taggert told players when he was hired in 2017 that his staff would be disciplinarians during strength training in an effort to ‘find the snakes in the grass and cut their heads off.’

It has been revealed that then-Oregon strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde (pictured) was not certified to be in that role at the time of the workouts

It has been revealed that then-Oregon strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde (pictured) was not certified to be in that role at the time of the workouts

Workouts took place around 6am and lasted between 60 to 90 minutes, during which, 40 players from each group were required to do ’10 perfect push-ups in unison.’ If anyone fell out of sync, everyone had to start the drill over.

Over several days, ‘student athletes vomited, passed out, or collapsed during the workouts.’ Ultimately Brenner, tight end Cam McCormick and offensive lineman Sam Poutasi were all hospitalized. Brenner, specifically, was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when muscle tissue breaks down and releases proteins damaging into the bloodstream.

The condition resulted in permanent kidney issues for Brenner, who lost a decade off his life expectancy, according to his lawsuit.

Oderinde was suspended for a month without pay following the incident.

Brenner did return to the team in 2017 before ultimately graduating from the school.

Taggart and Oderinde allegedly neglected to review the workouts with the school’s athletic department medical staff, which was not a University requirement at the time, according to the filing.

Taggert, who left Oregon for Florida State and now coaches at Florida Atlantic, is accused of negligence.

‘I care about every one of the players I’ve coached like they are my own sons, and I want each of them to be successful on and off the field,’ Taggart said in a statement to ESPN. ‘I would never want any of them to suffer any injury. I disagree with the things Doug Brenner has said in his complaint and am sorry we’re involved in this lawsuit. But I still wish him the best.’

Workouts took place around 6am and lasted between 60 to 90 minutes, during which, 40 players from each group were required to do '10 perfect push-ups in unison.'  If anyone fell out of sync, everyone had to start the drill over

Workouts took place around 6am and lasted between 60 to 90 minutes, during which, 40 players from each group were required to do ’10 perfect push-ups in unison.’ If anyone fell out of sync, everyone had to start the drill over

The school did issue a statement to ESPN, declaring the ‘health and safety of our students is our highest priority.’

‘There was a quick response to Doug Brenner’s injury, and he was provided the best care possible,’ read the University of Oregon statement. ‘We are grateful that he made a full recovery and was able to play during the 2017 season and also graduate from the University of Oregon. We disagree with the claims made by Mr. Brenner’s attorneys in their lawsuit and will address those in court.’

The NCAA contends that it does not have any authority to make health and safety regulations, adding that its schools and conferences are primarily responsible for the care of student athletes.

‘Complaints appear to contend that the dozens of guidelines and best practices found in the 140-page Sports Medicine Handbook relating to the conduct of workouts should be subject to monitoring, investigation, and enforcement,’ the NCAA wrote in its defense. ‘This is unworkable.’

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Sam Poutasi (pictured) was also hospitalized following the controversial workouts in 2017

Former Oregon tight end Cam McCormick

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Sam Poutasi (left) and tight end Cam McCormick (right) were both hospitalized along with Brenner following the controversial workouts in 2017

In his deposition, Emmert denied that the NCAA is responsible for player safety.

‘I’ve never talked to a president that they think that the responsibility is of a sport association to tell them how their medical professionals and training professionals should behave on campus,’ Emmert said. ‘Rather the association’s role is to provide them with guidance and advice and understanding of where the best science is and medical advice is, but not to police their local behavior. That’s not been a role that the association in 115 years has ever deemed was the appropriate thing for an athletic association to do.’

The NCAA is arguing that Brenner’s request for punitive damages would ‘replace the on-the-field medical judgments of experienced athletic trainers, coaches and team medical staff’ with input from the NCAA’s ‘non-medical’ staff.

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