Former KC Chiefs’ DT Dan Saleaumua settles federal lawsuit: Fan reaction

Dan Saleaumua was an imposing presence for the Kansas City Chiefs on the defensive line. Now he can add champion for prescription drug medication costs to his resume. Saleaumua settled a lawsuit April 21 with a drug supplier for $8 million in an alleged kick back scheme.

The former Chief owned eight Medicine Shoppe pharmacies in the Kansas City area. When he noticed Cardinal Health gave him and his business partner an extra $440,000 in 2008, they approached two lawyers who used to be federal prosecutors.

The Chiefs at home against the Saints in 2008.
Wikimedia Commons

Kick backs are illegal as they can monopolize the prescription drug industry and also cause prices to go up. The lawsuit was settled out of court and brought on behalf of the federal government by private citizens.

Saleaumua played eight seasons for the Chiefs from 1989 to 1996. His best year was 1990 when he had seven sacks, 88 tackles and a six-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1995.

He was a hero to many Chiefs' fans even if he wasn't a flashy player. He was a steadfast role player in the years when Derrick Thomas got all the attention for his monster sack numbers. I will always remember the Samoan as a gentle giant when he always found time to do charity events as a professional player. Even if he wasn't the best player on the team, the man has a big heart.

Cardinal Health is based in Ohio and is one of the largest distributors of prescription drugs to pharmacies. They will pay Saleaumua and his business partner $760,000 of the $8 million for their efforts. Cardinal was also ordered to pay for legal fees.

Most of the settlement goes to pay federal fines that would have been imposed had a criminal investigation happened. Cardinal Health and their representatives insist they did nothing wrong and admit no wrongdoing by the fact that they never pleaded guilty to anything in open court.

Either way, Saleaumua did his small part to keep drug costs lower for families across the country. Once again, he stepped up big when he had to.

William Browning is a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs after latching on to the team during the lean years of St. Louis football. Born in St. Louis, he is also a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.

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Updated Monday, Apr 25, 2011