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#pounditTuesday, October 4, 2022

Legal Matters

Ex-Saints star files $300 million lawsuit against NFL, NFLPA

Junior Galette smiles

Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) reacts on the sidelines in the fourth quarter. The Saints defeated the Panthers 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A former top NFL pass-rusher is suing the NFL for allegedly blackballing him.

Junior Galette, who played six seasons in the NFL, on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to Pro Football Talk. Galette named the NFL, NFL Players Association, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and several teams in the suit.The Seahawks, Rams, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, Panthers, and Commanders are the teams listed as defendants.

Galette played from 2010-2014 for the New Orleans Saints. He had 12 sacks in 2013 and 10 sacks in 2014. In 2017, he played for Washington as a rotational player.

Galette is representing himself in his case. He accuses the NFL of blackballing him “just like Colin Kaepernick and put on the blacklist BY THE NFL OWNERS.”

He alleges that his comments about the contract Washington gave Trent Murphy, which he stated was an example of racial discrimination, led to him being blackballed.

“I swear to god I’m not playing for no slave deals I’ll die before I play for more slave deals,” Galette said about his contract situation over Snapchat in 2018.

Galette, 34, has been arguing for a while to anyone who would listen that he has been blackballed by the NFL.

In his Twitter profile bio, he says he is a “Former Saints Team Captain that is Blackballed from the NFL for calling out Pay Discrimination Community Revolution In Progress.”

Galette on Wednesday posted a screenshot on Instagram of Pro Football Talk’s story about his lawsuit. His caption for the post said “Crazy how when I represent myself I get actual TRACTION smh no one wants to be exposed for being a Racist @nfl #PayJuniorGalette #ReupZn 300 Million Or Better if you want to play because Affidavits signed and Sealed Stick a Fork In Em They’re Done Here!!”

Galette was signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2010. After his big 2013 season, he signed a four-year contract extension worth $41.5 million, but he was cut after the 2014 season. He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to torn Achilles tendons.

Galette received a 2-game suspension from the NFL for a 2015 domestic violence incident. In 2017, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to comply.

In 2015, Galette made several allegations about Saints players and coaches via Twitter.

Vanessa Bryant awarded $16 million by jury over crash photos

Vanessa Bryant smiling

Mar 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Vanessa Bryant , wife of Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (not pictured), attends the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Vanessa Bryant was awarded $16 million on Wednesday by a federal jury over her lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles.

Bryant, who was joined by co-plaintiff Chris Chester in her lawsuit, was suing the county over first responders sharing photos of the crash site where her husband Kobe and daughter, Gianna, died in a January 2020 helicopter crash.

Bryant argued the L.A. County sheriff’s and fire departments employees who took the photos and circulated them among friends had caused her emotional distress and violated her privacy. Even though these photos were not circulated publicly, Bryant said knowing they existed and had been shared privately were highly troubling for her.

The trial in the case lasted for 11 days. The jury took 4.5 hours to deliberate before delivering their decision on Wednesday.

In addition to the monetary award to Bryant, Chester was awarded $15 million.

Nine people died in the Jan. 26, 2020 crash, including Chester’s wife and daughter.

NFL lawyers make accusation about Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has seemingly implemented a new strategy in its ongoing legal battle with Jon Gruden.

Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL a month after he was forced to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders last October. The resignation was the result of damaging emails being leaked as part of the league’s investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Commanders. Gruden’s attorneys have argued that the NFL intentionally leaked the emails to force Gruden out.

According to David Charns of 8 News Now in Las Vegas, court documents that were filed last week indicate that the NFL is looking to prove that Gruden was employed by the league at the time some of the derogatory and vulgar emails were sent.

“In several places, Gruden’s proposed order states that the emails were ‘sent between 2011 and 2018, during which time Gruden was not working as a coach in the NFL but as an employee of ESPN,” lawyers for the NFL said in the court filing. “Gruden’s claim (and purported finding of fact) on the timing of his emails is, in reality, very much disputed by the NFL parties and in fact false. Discovery — necessary to make any finding of fact on this issue — will show that Gruden continued to send the same kinds of derogatory emails consistently following his start date with the Raiders.”

The NFL is aiming to settle the Gruden lawsuit through arbitration, arguing that he was an employee of the league. Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, said in a statement on Monday that the initial complaint is about the NFL selectively leaking Gruden’s emails when the Washington investigation included more than 650,000 emails.

“In fact, their own attorney conceded during the hearing that the emails were sent before Jon Gruden signed with the Raiders. The NFL has tried to avoid discovery from the start, not Jon Gruden,” Hosmer-Henner said. “This is just another attempt by the NFL and Commissioner Goodell to save face by attacking Jon Gruden while still not owning up the truth of their actions. Jon isn’t going to try to hide from his deposition, is the commissioner?”

The emails, which contained gay slurs and other inappropriate content, were published in a New York Times story. They were sent between 2011-2018, when Gruden was with ESPN.

Gruden, 58, has already scored one big legal victory against the NFL.

Nick Kyrgios sued by Wimbledon fan he accused of having ‘700 drinks’

Nick Kyrgios on the court

Aug 12, 2019; Mason, OH, USA; Nick Kyrgios (AUS) reacts against Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the season for ridiculous lawsuits, apparently.

Nick Kyrgios is being sued by a woman whom he accused of being drunk while attending a match at Wimbledon this summer.

Kyrgios was facing Novak Djokovic in the finals at Wimbledon on July 10 and lost in four sets. During the third set, the Australian tennis player complained to the chair umpire about a fan distracting him while he was serving. Kyrgios said the fan was “drunk out of her mind” and talking to him during the middle of games.

Kyrgios said of the woman she “looks like she’s had about 700 drinks, bro.” You can watch the full video here.

The fan, Anna Palus, was temporarily removed from the match. She is now suing Kyrgios in court in England on grounds of defamation.

“During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me,” Palus said in the statement. “Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr. Kyrgios’ false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.”

The woman is seeking vindication and claimed any monetary damages she is awarded would go to charity.

Considering barely anyone in the world knew the identity of this woman previously, but many more are reading it now, it’s hard to believe that she was caused harm to her identity before.

This suit comes a week after Patrick Reed’s $750 million lawsuit filed against Brandel Chamblee, also for alleged defamation.

Well-known attorney representing alleged victim in Alvin Kamara case

Alvin Kamara wearing an Atlanta Braves hat

Feb 9, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara watches a game between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The man who says he was beaten by New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara several months ago has hired an attorney who has become very well known among the NFL community.

Tony Buzbee, the lawyer who represented 23 women who filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, announced on Monday that he has been hired to represent the man who says he was assaulted by Kamara and others on Pro Bowl weekend in Las Vegas back in February.

“Darnell Greene, the victim viciously assaulted while attempting to enter an elevator at The Cromwell Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in February 2022, by New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Chris Lammons, and others, has retained attorney Tony Buzbee and The Buzbee Law Firm, of Houston, Texas, to assist in the investigation and to pursue legal claims,” Buzbee’s firm said in a statement, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Buzbee’s firm says a lawsuit is being prepared. The firm is in the process of gathering information and has asked any witnesses who have info to come forward. Greene allegedly suffered a “severe traumatic brain injury” and has still been receiving medical treatment in Houston.

“The attack on Mr. Greene was unprovoked and extremely violent,” Buzbee said. “We call on the appropriate authorities to exact swift punishment against all parties involved in the attack. We also encourage the NFL to take immediate action. As appropriate, we will make Mr. Greene available to the authorities and the NFL, to the extent they wish to speak with him.”

Kamara was accused of assaulting Greene while Greene was on the ground during a fight on Feb. 5. The running back is facing a felony charge of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. Kamara’s hearing has been rescheduled multiple times, most recently earlier this month when his attorneys requested an additional 60 days.

All but one of the women who filed lawsuits against Watson have settled with the Cleveland Browns star. The one alleged victim who did not agree to a settlement recently revealed why she has refused.

Ex-MLB star Kenny Lofton facing lawsuit related to alleged explicit photos

Kenny Lofton with the Indians

Oct 20, 2007; Boston, MA , USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder (7) Kenny Lofton warms up before the start of game 6 of the 2007 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Former MLB All-Star Kenny Lofton is facing some troubling allegations.

According to a lawsuit that was obtained by TMZ, a man who used to work for Lofton claims he was fired as retaliation for reporting the 55-year-old’s alleged sexually inappropriate behavior. In the suit, which was filed on Monday, Brandyn Toney says he was hired in 2021 by an investment firm and NFT marketplace that Lofton founded. Toney claims he was never paid and was fired for reporting that Lofton exposed one of his female employees to sexually explicit photos of himself.

Toney says he was hired to work for Lofton’s companies, Centerblock Asset Management LLC and Proxime Corporation, in December 2021. He was promised a salary of $85,000. On June 8 of this year, Toney says he was approached by a fellow employee who was hired by the company to monitor Lofton’s Instagram account. The woman told Toney that she discovered Lofton had been sending photos of his penis to various women through private messages.

After learning of the alleged behavior, Toney says he approached the company’s in-house attorney to make the attorney aware of Lofton’s actions. Toney claims he was fired less than two hours after that conversation took place.

“Lofton and his executive team thought they could fire our client for objecting to obvious sexual misconduct and even thought they could get away with not paying him for his work,” Toney’s attorney, Ronald L. Zambrano, said in the lawsuit. “That speaks to the arrogance and dysfunction at play every day at Centerblock and Proxime.”

Toney is suing Lofton and the company for damages. He says he was fired as retaliation for calling attention to Lofton’s alleged sexual misconduct and for complaining about not being paid.

Lofton played in the majors for 17 seasons. He spent the bulk of his career with the Cleveland Indians, including his final season in 2007. The former speedster batted .299 for his career and stole 622 bases. His 34 postseason steals are the most in MLB history.

Alleged victim reveals why she did not settle with Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson at the Pro Bowl

Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has reached settlement agreements with all but one of the 24 women who filed sexual assault lawsuits against him. The one alleged victim who refused to settle has now spoken out against the Cleveland Browns star.

Lauren Baxley wrote a guest piece for The Daily Beast that was published on Friday in which she identified herself as the remaining plaintiff against Watson. She said one of the reasons she was not satisfied with any of the settlement offers is that she believes they aim to dismiss Watson’s actions rather than show remorse.

“I have rejected all settlement offers, in part because they have not included any sincere acknowledgment of remorse and wrongdoings, nor have they included any promises of rehabilitative treatment,” Baxley wrote. “Watson still refuses to admit that he harassed and committed indecent assault against me. Any settlement offer he has made has been a dismissal of his evil actions, and I know that unless there is an authoritative intervention, he will continue his destructive behavior.”

Watson has consistently maintained his innocence. He only admitted to having consensual sexual encounters with some of the women who filed lawsuits against him. Baxley says she is not one of those women.

“I will say again: All non-consensual sexual acts are a violence, particularly when the predator far outweighs his victims in physical stature and influential power,” she wrote. “And inherent and unspoken threats are just as damaging to the psyche as explicit threats. I will never cease my attempts to educate on this point.”

The NFL announced Thursday that it has settled with Watson on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine. In a statement that was released with the announcement, Watson tried to explain why he accepted a harsh punishment despite insisting he did nothing wrong.

It is unclear what the end result will be between Watson and Baxley. The lawsuit could eventually be heard in court if no settlement is reached. Unless some new allegations come to light, however, the NFL probably considers the matter resolved.

Patrick Reed files $750 million lawsuit against Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel

Patrick Reed on the course

Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via Imagn Content Services

Patrick Reed is not messing around.

Reed has filed a defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel and Brandel Chamblee, who is an analyst for the channel. The suit was filed by Reed’s attorney Larry Klayman Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. Reed is seeking $750 million in damages.

In the suit, Reed accuses Chamblee and Golf Channel of disparaging the golfer throughout his career. Reed accuses Chamblee and Golf Channel of purposefully making him look bad because he chose to sign with LIV Golf.

From the lawsuit:

“Defendants Chamblee and NBC’s Golf Channel have conspired as joint tortfeasors for and with the PGA Tour, it’s (sic) executives and it’s (sic) Commissioner Jay Monahan, to engage in a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed, misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth, that is with actual and constitutional malice, purposely omitting pertinent key material facts to mislead the public, and actively targeting Mr. Reed since he was 23 years old, to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him, and with the intention to discredit his name and accomplishments as a young, elite, world-class golfer, and the good and caring person, husband and father of two children, he is. It is well-known on tour that Mr. Reed has been abused and endured more than any other golfer from fans or spectators who have been allowed to scream obscenities only to be glorified by NBC’s Golf Channel for doing so, because it gets Defendants Chamblee and Golf Channel ‘clicks’, viewership, ratings and increased revenue,” the suit reads.

The lawsuit accuses Chamblee and Golf Channel of working together with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to disparage LIV Golf.

Here is more:

“Defendant Chamblee, a former professional golfer, who fell far short of ever rising to the accomplished level of Mr. Reed, and the current analyst for Golf Channel, has become Golf Channel’s primary mouthpiece and agent to push this defamatory agenda and inflict severe damage to Mr. Reed, LIV, and other golfers signed with LIV.
[…]
“Defendants Chamblee and Golf Channel are acting in concert with and as agents on behalf of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which views LIV as its primary competitor.”

Most of the defamation case centers around comments Chamblee has made about golfers leaving for LIV. Chamblee has accused these golfers of taking money from a tyrannical dictator, accepting “blood money,” and of taking part in sports-washing.

You can read the entire lawsuit here.

Reed, 32, has 9 career PGA Tour wins, including his win at the Masters in 2018. He was one of the big-name golfers to join LIV fairly early in the new league’s process.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson responds to troubling lawsuit

Diontae Johnson holding the ball

Oct 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) runs after catching a fifty yard touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Diontae Johnson is facing a lawsuit after he allegedly no-showed his own youth football camp, but the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver has issued a firm denial.

According to a lawsuit that was reviewed by Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the company that organized Johnson’s youth football camp claims Johnson gave just 13 minutes notice that he would not be attending the May 22 event. FlexWork Sports Management LLC says Johnson’s agent texted group organizers informing them that the receiver’s flight had been canceled. A plan was then proposed where Johnson would take another flight later in the day, but his agent supposedly told camp organizers that Johnson did not want to wait at the airport.

FlexWork says they had to refund $36,099.33 in fees after Johnson failed to show up. On Tuesday, Johnson’s agent and attorney issued a statement calling the lawsuit a “money grab with unfounded expenses and charges.” Johnson claims FlexWork promised to facilitate a “timely arrival” for him but that he had to make his own travel arrangements. You can read the full statement below:

Johnson’s representatives say the fourth-year player is only guilty of trusting FlexWork to run his camp.

Johnson, 26, has gotten better in each of his first three NFL seasons. He broke out last year with 107 catches for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns. He is locked into a No. 1 role with the Steelers now that JuJu Smith-Schuster left in free agency.

Nick Rolovich taking legal action against Washington State for $25 million

Nick Rolovich at Washington State

Oct 16, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich looks on during warms before a game against the Stanford Cardinal at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich is seeking a hefty sum of money from the school over his firing as head coach last October.

Rolovich has filed a $25 million tort claim against Washington State for wrongful termination, according to Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. Rolovich was fired for cause after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, which had been mandated for all state employees by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Rolovich, who is Catholic, sought a religious exemption, but that was denied.

Rolovich filed a claim with the state’s Office of Risk Management on April 27, which is a precursor to filing a lawsuit against a state agency. After a tort claim is filed, there is a 60-day waiting periord before a claimaint can file a suit. No formal lawsuit had been filed against the university itself as of Tuesday, according to the Seattle Times.

Because he was fired for cause, Washington State was not obligated to pay Rolovich the remainder of the money owed on his contract. He had originally signed a five-year deal with the school that would have paid him roughly $15 million over the course of the contract. The 43-year-old wound up coaching just 11 games for the university before his dismissal, going 5-6. He has not coached at any level since.

H/T Football Scoop