LOS ANGELES -- Former USC defensive end Armond Armstead is suing the school, saying team doctors gave him painkillers that caused a heart attack and damaged his future earning potential, his attorney told ESPNLosAngeles.com Thursday.
A lawsuit naming the university and seeking unspecified damages was filed Thursday in L.A. Superior Court. The Sacramento Bee first reported the lawsuit's filing.
Armstead's attorney, Sacramento-based Roger Dreyer, alleges that USC doctors irresponsibly treated Armstead while he played for the Trojans, forcing on him the painkilling drug Toradol several times without informing him of the possible side effects.
"Armond suffered a heart attack," Dreyer said in a phone interview Thursday. "We believe Armond suffered the heart attack because of the Toradol administered to him by a team doctor."
The injected form of Toradol, which Dreyer said Armstead received, does not list a heart attack as one of its side effects.
Armstead, 22, played three seasons for USC from 2008 to '10, starting 17 games and recording 59 tackles. He did not suit up for the Trojans in 2011 because he was not medically cleared for competition after a February training incident, and then went undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft.
He is playing for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and has 19 tackles through 10 games.
Asked what he felt the potential damages in Armstead's case could be, Dreyer pointed to former USC defensive end Nick Perry, who signed a four-year, $7.5 million contract with the Green Bay Packers in May after being selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
"Armond would have made Nick Perry better, and Nick Perry would have made Armond better," Dreyer said.
USC officials declined to comment Thursday about the lawsuit, releasing only a short statement.
"It would be inappropriate at this time for USC to make a comment about the lawsuit," the statement read.
Dreyer alleges that USC knew Armstead suffered a heart attack and purposely withheld that he had received Toradol from doctors at UCLA and elsewhere.
"Lane Kiffin knew," Dreyer said. "Pat Haden knew. All these people knew that Armond had a heart attack."
Armstead did not work out at USC's pro day in March but held a private workout near his hometown of Pleasant Grove before the draft.
Dreyer said USC was at fault for Armstead not being drafted.
"Now he has a history of having a heart attack," Dreyer said. "That's something he has to deal with the rest of his life."
The 37-page suit also listed an unnamed pharmaceutical company, team physician Dr. James Tibone and the University Park Health Center as defendants in the case.
Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com