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Judge dismisses former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo’s lawsuit against team CNN

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CNN

A Florida judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former NFL kicker Josh Lambo against the Jacksonville Jaguars seeking back pay and damages for emotional distress caused by the team’s former head coach Urban Meyer, who he accused of creating a “hostile work environment.”

The suit, filed in May in Duval County’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, was dismissed without prejudice by Judge GL Feltel Jr. on Nov. 8, according to court records.

Lambo was given 21 days to file an amended complaint. Lamb’s attorney, Betsy Brown, told CNN her client wants to do just that.

The judge threw out the case after the Jaguars filed a motion to dismiss the suit in July, arguing in the complaint that Lambo was “not a whistleblower or a victim of retaliation.”

The Jaguars said Lambo acknowledged in the complaint that the club “separated his employment due to his unsatisfactory performance on the football field.”

The team contends that while Lambo’s lawsuit alleges wrongdoing on Meyer’s part, it “fails to show that Meyer’s actions were committed within the scope of his employment or authorized by the team.”

Further, the group argued that the alleged conduct Lambo complained about was not protected activity under the Florida Whistleblower Act.

CNN has reached out to Jaguar for comment.

In the lawsuit, Lambo said that during a practice in August 2021, Meyer “kicked him in the leg and used profanity to insult (him) and warned him to kick. Specifically, (Meyer) allegedly yelled at (Lambo), ‘ Hey dips**t, kick your **king!’”

Lambeau responded to Meyer by telling the coach, “’Don’t you ever kick me again!’ [Meyer] responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever I want,'” according to the lawsuit

Meyer denied Lambo’s allegations to the Tampa Bay Times in December.

“My and Josh’s characterization of the incident is completely wrong, and there are witnesses to refute his account,” Meyer told the paper. “(General manager) Trent (Balke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and it never came up. I have fully supported Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”

The lawsuit alleges that Lambo notified the Jaguars of the incident through his agent, Richard Irvin, but the team “did not initiate an investigation” or “interfere with the intimate working situation” between the two.

The Jaguars cut Lambo in October after the kicker missed all three of his field-goal attempts through the first three weeks of the 2021 season. Lambo’s lawsuit said his missed field goal “did no harm to the Jaguars.”

According to the suit, Lambo claimed his release violated the Florida Private Sector Whistle-Blower Act “relating to assault, battery and workplace violence in the interests of an employer.”

After he was cut, the lawsuit alleges, Lambo “suffered occupational harm, including lost wages, benefits and other compensation, as well as extreme mental and emotional distress” due to harassment, a hostile work environment and retaliation by the Jaguars.

The Jaguars fired Meyer in December 2021 after 13 games (2–11) in his first NFL coaching season.

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