Ex-running back Johnson, USC settle lawsuit

Ex-running back Johnson, USC settle lawsuit

Published Jan. 18, 2012 7:55 p.m. ET

USC has settled a lawsuit brought by former running back Stafon Johnson, who was injured in 2009 when a bench-press bar carrying 275 pounds fell on his neck in the school's weight room.

USC and Johnson released a joint statement Wednesday evening.

"The University of Southern California and former student-athlete Stafon Johnson wish to jointly announce that Mr. Johnson has resolved his lawsuit against the university arising out of his September 28, 2009, weight room injury," the statement said. "The parties have agreed that the terms and details will be confidential."

Johnson could not be reached for comment.

A hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court had been scheduled for Wednesday, but it was taken off the calendar because a notice of settlement had been filed, a court clerk said.

Johnson filed the personal-injury suit against USC and former assistant strength coach Jamie Yanchar in January 2011. The suit sought unspecified damages, claiming Yanchar negligently caused the bar to fall during a training session because he was "distracted and not paying attention" to Johnson.

Johnson was sidelined the remainder of the 2009 season and underwent multiple surgeries for neck and throat injuries.

Johnson was signed as a free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2010 NFL draft, but he suffered a season-ending ankle injury during an exhibition game. He was on the Washington Redskins' practice squad last season.

Yanchar joined the Seattle Seahawks' staff in 2010.

- Gary Klein