Former USC Trojans running back Stafon Johnson is suing the school and ex-assistant conditioning coach Jamie Yanchar on Monday, Jan. 24 for a weight-room incident in Sept. 2009 that crushed Johnson’s throat and ended his college football career.
Johnson is alleging negligence because Yanchar was responsible for spotting Johnson during his lifting. Johnson was bench-pressing 275 pounds in the weight-room when the bar dropped and fell onto his neck, which crushed his throat and larynx. He required surgery. The lawsuit claims Yanchar was distracted and not paying attention to Johnson when the bar was being lifted.
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Country Superior court, Johnson is seeking unspecified damages and said the 22-year-old suffered permanent injuries and loss of future earnings.
USC released a statement saying, “USC firmly believes it was not at fault in Stafon Johnson’s unfortunate weightlifting accident. We are sorry that Stafon was injured.”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.”
Yanchar is currently the the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Seattle Seahawks.