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Former USC player Stafon Johnson sues school

Former USC running back Stafon Johnson sued the school after a weightlifting accident that happened on Sept. 28, 2009.

January 24, 2011 12:14:34 AM PST
A weightlifting accident more than a year ago nearly ended the life and college career of former USC running back Stafon Johnson. Now, he's suing the school. Student athletes said they are shocked to hear of the lawsuit.

"You know your responsibilities. Before you go underneath the weightlifting machine, you know you have to have a spotter," said Peter Yobo, a USC football player. "We have great trainers who only want us to get better, stronger, faster, so I don't see why you'd want to sue USC."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

It all stems from the September 2009 accident in the weight room, when a bar loaded with 275 pounds fell on Johnson's neck, crushing his larynx.

The running back eventually recovered, but he was out the rest of the season.

The injury didn't prevent him from pursuing work in the pros. He was picked up by the Tennessee Titans last April as a free agent - a career jump that ended prematurely because of an unrelated ankle injury in the preseason.