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Former USC lineman files lawsuit against the school alleging heart attack caused by painkillers

A former NCAA football player and current NFL lineman has filed a lawsuit against his former school, alleging that team doctors gave him a prescription painkiller against his will, causing him to suffer a heart attack. New England Patriots defensive end Armond Armstead filed a lawsuit against the University of Southern California because he was prescribed the painkiller Toradol without being informed about the possible side effects of the drug.

Armstead was projected as a top draft pick in 2011, but left to play in the Canadian Football League during the 2012 season after he went undrafted and unsigned as a free agent due to concerns about his health. After spending last season in the CFL, Armstead signed a contract with the New England Patriots during this offseason, where he is expected to be a key contributor on the team’s defensive line.

According to his lawsuit against USC, Armstead began experiencing chest pain during a team practice during the 2011 season. He was sent to the school’s University Park Health Center on three occasions and was given injections of Toradol on two occasions. Armstead alleges that he was never informed by his physicians that the side effects of Toradol include stroke and heart attack.

Doctors at the USC University Hospital later determined that Armstead has suffered “an acute anterior apical myocardial infarction”—a heart attack—and that the medications he had been prescribed “were a substantial factor in causing the myocardial infarction.” The painkiller lawsuit alleges that USC officials tried to hide the Toradol injections Armstead had been given from his physicians and tried to impede him from transferring to another school after he was barred from playing by the university due to concerns about his health.