Miami Dolphins legend Bob Kuechenberg is entangled in an old-fashioned slip-and-fall lawsuit filed in Broward County.
The case is headed to mediation in mid-February in an attempt to settle before a trial later this year.
Kuechenberg, 69, one of the NFL’s most fearsome guards until he retired in 1984 after 14 seasons with the Fins, claims in his filing he fractured a leg on Dec. 6, 2015, during brunch at his once-favorite spot, Flashback Diner on SW 64th Avenue in Davie.
“The medical costs of what happened to Bob have been between $40,000 and $90,000,” said David Singer, Kuechenberg’s lawyer. “It was a fracture caused by possible code violations on the staircase where he fell.”
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According to court papers, Kuechenberg fell heavily on the outside staircase and couldn’t catch his fall with the guardrail because it was covered with Christmas garlands and a large sand ashtray used by smokers.
In their response, the diner’s attorneys hint they might use a defense partly based on drugs or alcohol use, but Singer said that defense is standard in such lawsuits and doesn’t reflect Kuechenberg’s state.
“It was a Sunday morning, and alcohol or drug use hasn’t come up once in the case,” Singer said.
Kuechenberg’s life out of football has been anything but glamorous.
He has had public battles with substance abuse and financial problems.
In 2011, he was among 4,500 former pro football stars who sued the league in connection with the high incidence of brain diseases suffered by ex-players.
But Singer says he doesn’t think Kuechenberg has been paid yet in that suit.