Open Accessibility Menu

Ex-Strength Coach for Eagles Sues Over Chewing Tobacco Injuries

Spohrer Dodd

As the former strength and flexibility coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies, John “Gus” Hoefling was known throughout the sports industry for his incredible healing methods and straightforward, no-nonsense approach. So when the ex-coach received a diagnosis for squamous cell cancer of the head and neck last year, he decided to take legal action against the chewing tobacco companies, Skoal and Red Man.

Our tobacco litigation team at Spohrer Dodd is proud to represent Gus Hoefling in this important matter, and ensure that he gets the fair compensation he deserves after a lifetime of addiction and exploitation by Big Tobacco. It’s our mission to ensure that no one has to suffer because of corporate negligence and wrongdoing – and applying over 150 years of combined experience, we’ll aim to maximize Mr. Hoefling’s outcome in this case.

Design Defects, Fraud, and Negligence

Mr. Hoefling first began using Skoal and Red Man chewing tobacco products when he was a strength coach, as it was common for baseball and football team members to use smokeless tobacco at that time. However, in that same time period, the tobacco companies did not honestly advertise about the dangers of their products or indicate in any way that they could cause serious addictions and cancer.

For decades, Mr. Hoefling and his fellow coaches and athletes were addicted to spit tobacco – a fact that was ruthlessly exploited by the tobacco companies. According to the complaint, which was filed in August by our attorney Robert Spohrer and Jack Meyerson of Meyerson & O’Neill, Skoal and Red Man both sent free cases of their addictive products to the locker rooms for the Phillies and Eagles, where Mr. Hoefling served as a coach.

In the claim, our attorneys allege that Red Man and Skoal:

  • Used Mr. Hoefling as an involuntary marketing spokesperson for their products, knowing that children looked up to athletes and coaches as role models;
  • Knowingly manufactured and marketed an addictive substance, while downplaying its addictive qualities;
  • Ignored warnings about known carcinogens like TSNAs and Benzopyrene, and continued to use inappropriate curing and storage methods for their tobacco.

Although Mr. Hoefling tried to quit chewing dozens of times, it took him until 2011 to finally overcome his addiction to smokeless tobacco. Within 7 years, he was diagnosed with cancer, and consigned to a life of medical treatments and worry about his family’s future. Our team, led by Attorney Robert Spohrer, will aim to secure the peace of mind and financial recovery that he deserves.

Call Our Experienced Personal Injury Team

With over $1 billion won in recoveries for our personal injury clients over the years, Spohrer Dodd has gained a nationwide reputation for success in the most complex torts and claims. Committed to pursuing justice for our clients, we’ll fight all the way through until trial, and stand by your side every step of the way.

Do you need to speak with legal counsel? Give us a call at (904) 637-7721 for a free and confidential consultation.

Categories: