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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Legal Matters

Antonio Brown being sued over moving truck driver incident

Antonio brown

Antonio Brown was suspended for the first eight games of the 2020 season due to multiple off-field incidents, and the veteran receiver is now facing a civil lawsuit related to one of them.

Accoridng to Broward County court documents obtained by Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times, Brown has been sued by a moving truck driver who was allegedly attacked by Brown and Brown’s trainer early last year. The driver, Anton Tumanov, claims in the suit that he was moving Brown’s belongings from California to Hollywood, Fla., last year when he was “met with resistance and violence.”

Tumanov said Brown and Brown’s trainer, Glenn Holt, attacked his vehicle and broke the key” before they “proceeded to verbally and physically attack him, causing severe personal injuries.” The driver says he “continues to suffer severe bodily injuries, pecuniary losses, and mental anguish” as a result of the incident.

Holt and Brown are accused of assault and battery. Tumanov is seeking more than $30,000 in damages.

Police were called to Brown’s Hollywood home in January 2020 after he was accused of attacking a moving truck driver over a payment issue. You can read more details from the incident here.

Brown was arrested not long after the incident and pleaded no contest to a felony battery charge last June. The 32-year-old avoided jail time and was given two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a psych evaluation.

Brown is unlikely to face further discipline from the NFL, as the moving truck incident was part of the reason he was suspended last season.

Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns with the Bucs last season. He recently re-signed with the team on a one-year deal.

Tony Buzbee criticizes NFL for handling of Deshaun Watson situation

Deshaun Watson

The NFL has been investigating the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson, and the attorney representing the alleged victims does not feel his clients are being shown a proper level of respect.

Tony Buzbee told Mark Berman of FOX 26 on Wednesday night that four of the 22 women he currently represents have met with the NFL. Buzbee said he is unsure if he will allow others to do so because some of the women who already spoke with the league “did not feel like they were being respected.”

Buzbee said members of his staff attended meetings between the NFL and three of the women. He attended a meeting with the fourth. The lawyer stressed to NFL officials that “every time these women recount this situation, they have to relive it.”

Berman shared a more detailed recap of his conversation with Buzbee:

It was also noteworthy that Buzbee said none of his clients are considering settlements with Watson. There has been speculation recently that settlements could be in the works, as not much has been said about the lawsuits from either side.

Buzbee said eight to 10 of the alleged victims have spoken with the Houston Police Department. No criminal charges have been filed against Watson at this point.

The Texans are in somewhat of a holding pattern with Watson. It’s probably safe to assume the star quarterback will be suspended in 2021, but no one really knows when or for how long. At least one NFC team is said to have interest in Watson despite the ongoing scandal.

Antonio Brown reaches settlement with rape accuser Britney Taylor

Antonio brown

Antonio Brown has reached a settlement with one of the women who accused him of sexual assault.

Brown’s representative Alana Burstyn issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that the free agent wide receiver has resolved his dispute with Britney Taylor, his former trainer and friend. Burstyn said in the release that Brown and Taylor have been friends for more than a decade and that they reflected on their relationship and feel it is time to move forward. Burstyn says Taylor is pleased that Brown won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that the two “wish each other great continued success.”

You can read the full release below:

It’s unclear if there was a financial settlement, but we do know that Brown was ordered by a judge to pay Taylor $100,000 earlier this year. That ruling came after Brown violated a confidentiality agreement that he and Taylor entered into shortly after Taylor filed a lawsuit against Brown in 2019 accusing him of sexual assault.

Taylor accused Brown of sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions. The allegations against the Pro Bowl receiver were extremely troubling. You can see a summary of them here.

The allegations from Taylor factored into Brown’s eight-game suspension at the start of the 2020 NFL season. He has also faced sexual misconduct allegations from a second woman.

Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns with the Bucs last season. He remains a free agent but recently made it clear that he wants to return to Tampa.

Video appears to show Aaron Donald trying to break up fight

Aaron Donald

An attorney representing Aaron Donald said on Friday that the Los Angeles Rams star actually tried to help the man who accused him of assault, and limited video footage appears to support that claim.

A man named De Vincent Spriggs filed assault charges against Donald earlier this week after he says Donald attacked him outside a Pittsburgh nightclub early Sunday morning. Spriggs’ face was left badly injured following the incident.

Donald’s lawyer, Casey White, told media outlets on Friday that Donald actually saved Spriggs from further injury. White said police have reviewed video footage and agree that it does not show Donald assaulting Spriggs. You can see a portion of the video below, which appears to show Donald trying to break up the melee:

The video only shows a portion of what transpired and lacks many other details, such as who threw the first punch, who attacked whom, and what Donald’s role was in the entire brawl. But Donald’s attorney says the defensive lineman was not at fault.

White acknowledged that Spriggs’ injuries came from people who acted in defense of Donald, as he says Spriggs previously swung a bottle at the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and hit him in the head. The lawyer also said five witnesses have confirmed that Donald did not attack Spriggs.

While the photo of Spriggs’ injuries shows he clearly was assaulted in some way, Donald appears to have a fairly strong case. It would not be a surprise if the charges against him are dismissed.

Photo: The 61st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr via CC-by-S.A. 2.0

Aaron Donald’s attorney shares much different side of alleged assault story

Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald was accused of assaulting a man at a Pittsburgh bar over the weekend, but the attorney representing Donald says the victim in the attack should actually be thanking the Los Angeles Rams star.

A man named De Vincent Spriggs filed criminal assault charges against Donald on Monday after he claims Donald attacked him and injured him outside a nightclub early Sunday morning. Spriggs’ lawyer provided a photo that showed Spriggs’ face badly swollen, but Donald’s attorney says his client did not inflict the injuries.

Donald’s lawyer, Casey White, told 97.3 The Fan on Friday that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year actually saved Spriggs from further injury. White says the incident began after Spriggs began aggressively jabbing Donald in the back with his elbow at a party. Other people at the party took Spriggs outside, and he again encountered Donald and Donald’s brother when they were leaving. Donald says Spriggs began walking at him and yelling while holding something in his hand, which Donald initially thought was a gun. It turned out to be a bottle, which Donald says Spriggs swung at him.

A fight then broke out, and White says Donald tried to pull people away from Spriggs. The lawyer acknowledged that Spriggs’ injuries came from friends who came to Donald’s defense while Donald was restrained.

“Aaron then breaks free from the restraints … he then goes to the pile where this melee is taking place and he starts tearing people off, protecting Mr. Spriggs,” White said. “He actually saves Mr. Spriggs from further injury.”

White says there is video evidence that proves Donald did not attack Spriggs. Five witnesses also said Donald was not the aggressor. The attorney says police have the footage and contacted White on Friday morning to tell him they “agree thus far that there is no evidence from that video that shows Donald assaulting the victim.”

“There’s not much else left to do to be honest with you because he’s not assaulted by Aaron Donald, he’s actually saved by Aaron Donald,” White added. “Mr. Spriggs should write a thank you card to Aaron Donald.”

Even if Donald is not charged, the NFL will conduct its own investigation. He could face disciplinary action, depending upon what his role was in the incident.

Donald is widely considered the best defensive player in the NFL and has been named Defensive Player of the Year in three of the past four seasons. The 29-year-old was extremely emotional after the Rams lost to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, as you can see here.

Photo: The 61st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr via CC-by-S.A. 2.0

Daniel Snyder goes to court against Bruce Allen over negative stories

Daniel Snyder

Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder’s quest to uncover the source of negative reporting against him has taken him to one of the people he once worked most closely with.

As first reported by Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Snyder has filed suit in federal court asking that his attorneys be allowed to search the communications of former Washington president Bruce Allen. Snyder alleged that Allen is one of those being used as a source for negative stories about Snyder, citing the fact that Allen’s name does not come up in the stories despite working closely with Snyder for over a decade.

Snyder also alleged that Allen spoke frequently with the attorney for Washington’s former minority owners while they were suing Snyder over his attempt to block their sale of their shares of the team. Snyder believes that Allen shared extensive conversations with the attorney prior to the stories being published.

Allen was fired in 2019 after long being one of Snyder’s closest confidants. That doesn’t matter here, though, as Snyder is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to discover who he thinks is leaking negative information about him. He’s even gone after the wife of a former employee for the same reason.

Aaron Donald facing assault charge after allegedly attacking man

Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald has been accused of attacking a man and badly injuring him, and the Los Angeles Rams star is facing criminal charges for the alleged incident.

A man named De Vincent Spriggs says he was struck in the face by Donald in the early hours of April 11, according to KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Attorney Todd Hollis, who represents Spriggs, said he planned to file criminal charges against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday morning.

Hollis provided a photo that showed Spriggs’ face with his eye swollen completely shut. He says the photo was taken after Spriggs was attacked by Donald.

Hollis told Mick Stinelli of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the incident took place following an altercation at an after-hours nightclub in Pittsburgh. The attorney said Spriggs suffered a concussion and other injuries.

Donald has ties to the Pittsburgh area, as he grew up there and played college football at the University of Pittsburgh.

Donald is widely considered the best defensive player in the NFL and has been named Defensive Player of the Year in three of the past four seasons. He was extremely emotional after the Rams lost to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, as you can see here.

Both police and the NFL will likely investigate the assault allegations. Donald could face disciplinary action from the NFL regardless of what happens with the charges that are filed.

Photo: The 61st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr via CC-by-S.A. 2.0

Joe West wins defamation suit against Paul Lo Duca for easiest reason

MLB umpire Joe West has won a defamation lawsuit against former catcher Paul Lo Duca, and it sounds like West’s legal team had a fairly easy time convincing the judge to rule in their favor.

New York Supreme Court Justice John J. Kelley issued his decision Monday to award West $500,000 in damages plus interest dating back to July 8. In the suit, which was filed in October 2019, West said Lo Duca claimed during an April 18, 2019, podcast on The Action Network that the catcher was ejected 15 times during his major league career and eight or nine were by West. It took very little effort for West to prove those claims were inaccurate.

West’s suit stated that Lo Duca was ejected eight times during his career and only once by West. Lo Duca also claimed that he was catching a game for former New York Mets pitcher Billy Wagner against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006 or 2007 and that West called three straight batters out on strikes. Lo Duca said Wagner told him the reason West gave the pitcher the calls was that Wagner had allowed West to take his 1957 Chevy for a spin.

That story was apparently made up as well. West proved in his suit that he only worked one Mets-Phillies game as the home plate umpire between 2006 and 2007, and Wagner did not pitch in it.

Here is some of the explanation for Kelley’s ruling.

“The court credits the plaintiff’s testimony that one’s integrity and character are primary measures that are applied to the assessment of an umpire’s or player’s quality and, thus, the consideration that he will be given for election to, and induction into, the Hall of Fame,” Kelley wrote, according to The Associated Press. “The plaintiff expressed a legitimate concern that, if Hall of Fame voters credited Lo Duca’s false assertion regarding his integrity and character, he might not be elected for induction into the Hall of Fame for the same reasons as otherwise excellent players ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds had or have not been elected.”

West was awarded $250,000 for “past mental anguish and emotional distress” and another $250,000 to use toward retaining a public relations firm to repair his reputation.

It would not be a surprise if Lo Duca had numerous disagreements with West, as the 66-year-old umpire has been accused of treating players poorly in the past. However, Lo Duca clearly made up stories about West to prove a point. Whether he misremembered or lied is irrelevant in the eyes of the court, as evidenced by the ruling.

Photo: Keith Allison/Flickr via cc-by-SA 2.0

Deshaun Watson gets one accuser to drop lawsuit

Deshaun Watson

One of the women who was accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual assault has dropped her lawsuit.

Watson’s attorney Rustin Hardin provided an update on the case to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. He says they have the names of 20 of the 22 women. One woman has dropped her suit, and they are seeking the name of one other accuser.

Watson’s legal team got a legal victory when it was ruled that the women had to be identified. That apparently has led him to begin discussions with the accusers.

Legal cases can often be settled outside of court, typically through an amount of money and other terms agreed upon between the parties. It’s unclear what led the one woman to drop her suit.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Britt Reid charged with felony DWI for crash that left young girl hospitalized

Britt Reid

Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid has been charged with a felony in connection with the accident that left a 5-year-old girl hospitalized back in February.

The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Reid has been charged with felony driving while intoxicated. The Class D felony carries a potential jail sentence of one to seven years. Prosecutors have requested a $100,000 bond.

Police records show that Reid, the son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, was driving around 84 mph just before he hit a disabled vehicle on a freeway entrance ramp on Feb. 4. A blood test revealed that his blood-alcohol content was .113.

Reid, 35, has a previous drunk driving conviction in Pennsylvania. Prosecutors said he also has an alcohol-related incident in Arizona on his record.

Reid is no longer employed by the Chiefs. He did not travel to the Super Bowl with Kansas City after the crash, and Andy Reid shared some thoughts on the incident before the Chiefs’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The young girl who suffered a brain injury in the crash remained hospitalized as of March 17. The attorney representing her family said she likely has permanent brain damage. The lawyer also released photos last month that showed the severity of the crash.