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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

Legal Matters

Clemson football players sued over alleged crash with mail truck

Dabo Swinney

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney after the 14-8 win over Georgia Tech in Clemson, S.C., September 18, 2021. Credit: Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Two Clemson football players are facing a lawsuit after they were allegedly traveling at a dangerous speed in a car that crashed into a mail delivery truck last year.

Defensive backs Fred Davis II and Malcolm Greene were named in the lawsuit, which was filed in Pickens County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday. According to Scott Keepfer of the Greenville News, the civil suit claims Davis was racing and driving recklessly on a highway near Clemson when he collided with a mail truck on July 21, 2021. The driver of the mail truck, Karen Alvarez, suffered serious injuries.

Electronic data from the airbag module in the vehicle driven by Davis showed that Davis was “traveling at 115 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone when he first applied his brakes 2.8 seconds before he collided with the rear of Plaintiff’s vehicle,” the suit says.

Davis was arrested and charged with reckless driving. Greene, who was in the vehicle with Davis at the time, is also named in the lawsuit. Alvarez is seeking unspecified damages.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the lawsuit will not effect the two players’ status with the team. He expressed sympathy for the victim. Both players were disciplined internally after the incident.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Swinney said. “Someone almost lost their life. They’re really fortunate that the lady involved survived, but she’s got a lot of challenges. I don’t think anybody’s surprised that this will play out on the civil side.”

Davis, a junior, has started three games for the Tigers this season. He has 10 total tackles and has broken up two passes. Greene, also a junior, has appeared in three games and made 7 total tackles.

Report: Adrian Peterson being sued over unpaid debt

Adrian Peterson smiles

Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after being hit with a child abuse charge in 2014, motor oil company Castrol cancelled its contract with NFL running back Adrian Peterson.

Castrol had originally signed Peterson in 2013 to help publicly promote some of their products, including synthetic car oil Castrol EDGE. But after Peterson’s legal issues arose and Castrol cancelled the contract, they requested he return a portion of advance payments they had made to him.

According to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed earlier this week, Peterson still has not repaid that money. Now Castrol is seeking $60,540 from Peterson, the New York Post reports.

Castrol claims they nixed the deal under a clause in the contract that specifically outlined “embarrassment” or “scandal.” The argument could obviously be made that Peterson violated both of those terms after he allegedly struck his 4-year-old son with a wooden spoon.

Peterson and Castrol went into arbitration in 2020 with Castrol having prevailed in 2021. However, Peterson and his management company — Adrian Peterson All Day Inc. — allegedly have yet to pay up.

“To date, [Peterson’s company] has failed to pay the award, in whole or in part,” the filing states.

In addition to the arbitration award, Castrol is also requesting a judge force Peterson to pay nine percent interest.

Peterson, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, last played in 2021 as a member of both the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. His career earnings eclipse $103 million.

Phil Mickelson drops out of lawsuit against PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson in golf gear

May 22, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson reacts on the first green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson has joined a growing list of golfers who have dropped out of an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

On August 3, multiple golfers who had joined LIV Golf filed an antitrust suit against the PGA Tour. The golfers were suing after being suspended by the Tour as punishment for joining LIV.

11 golfers initially joined the lawsuit. Soon after filing the suit, Carlos Ortiz dropped out. Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Abraham Ancer all dropped out of the suit less than a month later.

On Tuesday, we learned that Mickelson has dropped out of the suit. So too have Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Ian Poulter.

Matt Jones, Peter Uihlein and Bryson DeChambeau are the only remaining golfers in the lawsuit.

Many golfers dropped out of the suit once LIV Golf got involved in the case. Those who drop out are sacrificing potential monetary damages.

Though he has dropped out of the suit, Mickelson could still be called as a witness.

Jake Paul being sued by boxing promoter

Jake Paul looking away.

Dec 18, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Jake Paul celebrates after defeating Tyron Woodley at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Paul is being sued by boxing promoter Eddie Hearn for alleged defamation.

Paul said in an interview with IFL TV that he believed Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing company paid off judge Glenn Feldman to score fights in favor of Matchroom Boxing clients.

Paul, who went from being a social media star to a celebrity boxer, cited Feldman’s scoring in the Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk as his evidence of the bribery (Joshua is a Matchroom client).

“Glenn Feldman shows up in Saudi and scores Anthony Joshua to win the fight when everyone watching the fight — it’s not a split-decision. Usyk had a runaway victory. Clearly won the fight, and this judge Glenn Feldman gives it to Anthony Joshua? It’s like a repeated crime here. This type of s—, I’m going to call it out — it’s bulls—,” Paul said (profanity censored by LBS).

“Clearly this guy is getting paid money by Matchroom Boxing. And that’s a bold statement and accusation that I don’t take lightly. But it’s just blatantly obvious. They’re not even trying to hide it.”

Paul recognized he was making a potentially harmful claim, which is why he said he doesn’t take his accusation lightly. Neither does Hearn.

Hearn is suing Paul for $75,000 for alleged defamation, according to TMZ Sports. The boxing promoter called the allegation “outlandlishly false.”

Usyk defeated Joshua in an August 20 fight via split decision. The three judges scored the fight closely. Viktor Fesechko had the fight 8 rounds to 4 in favor of Usyk (116-112); Steve Gray scored it 7 rounds to 5 for Usyk (115-113); and Feldman had it 7 rounds to 5 for Joshua (113-115).

Paul also cited Feldman’s scoring in April’s Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano bout. Feldman and another judge scored the fight in favor of Matchroom client Serrano, who won via split decision. Feldman had the fight 97-93 for Serrano, while another judge had it 96-93 for Serrano. The scoring difference was nowhere near as pronounced as Paul made it out to be.

Tyrod Taylor suing doctor who is treating Justin Herbert injury

Tyrod Taylor during warmups

Aug 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, United States; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor at a scrimmage at SoFi Stadium that was cancelled in the wake of protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrod Taylor lost his starting quarterback job to then-rookie Justin Herbert two years ago because of a team doctor’s mishap. That same doctor still works for the Los Angeles Chargers and is now treating a significant injury for Herbert. He is doing so while facing a lawsuit from Taylor.

Taylor suffered a punctured lung prior to Week 2 in 2020 when team doctor David S. Gazzaniga administered a pain-killing injection to treat a rib injury. The veteran was going to play through the rib injury, but he was ruled out as a result of the lung puncture. Herbert started in Taylor’s place, and the rest is history.

According to court documents obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Taylor has sued Gazzaniga and the Newport Orthopedic Institute that the doctor runs. Taylor is seeking at least $5 million. The trial in the case was originally scheduled for November, but both sides agreed to move it until after so it would not be during the NFL season.

Taylor, who is now with the New York Giants, alleges in the lawsuit that he suffered “severe physical pain resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other past pain and suffering.” The 33-year-old’s attorneys argue that “negligence, carelessness and other tortious, unlawful and wrong acts” led to Taylor losing his starting job in 2020 just before he was set to become a free agent.

Taylor’s attorneys also say that Gazzaniga did not obtain proper consent from Taylor before administering the injection.

Despite losing his starting job with the Chargers, Taylor still entered the 2021 season as a starter with the Houston Texans. He signed a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million with them. Taylor suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2 and missed six games. He returned to start four more games but was eventually replaced with rookie Davis Mills.

Taylor signed a two-year deal worth up to $17 million with the New York Giants this past offseason. He served as the backup quarterback to Daniel Jones in Week 1.

Taylor chose not to file a grievance against the Chargers following the incident in 2020.

Gazzaniga has remained with the Chargers despite the situation with Taylor. He is now treating a rib injury for Herbert.

Eagles fans file lawsuit against Commanders over railing collapse

Daniel Snyder looks on

Sep 9, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Four Philadelphia Eagles fans have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the Washington Commanders over a railing collapse at FedEx Field earlier this year.

Four New Jersey-based fans are suing the Commanders, alleging that they are still recovering from injuries sustained in the postgame collapse at FedEx Field in January. Video at the time showed a group of Eagles fans leaning over a railing seeking to high-five Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts when the railing collapsed, sending several people falling out of the stands and into the tunnel.

The new lawsuit, as obtained by Ida Domingo of ABC 7 in Washington, alleges that the fans were not warned about leaning against the railing at any point, and were actually directed there by stadium security. The suit also alleges that the victims were treated in a “callous and indifferent manner” and received no help from team staff or security workers after the fall, with Hurts the only person who stopped to check on the well-being of the fans that fell.

The plaintiffs are seeking upwards of $75,000 per person, and allege that they suffered “cervical strains, muscle strains, bone contusions, cuts, headaches and “other potential long-term effects, both physical and emotional” as a result of the fall.

Hurts actually sent a letter directly to the Commanders seeking assurances that steps would be taken to protect fans in the future. He would certainly qualify as a witness, not to mention the various video of the incident.

The suit will be yet another legal issue for the Commanders and owner Daniel Snyder, who is already facing scrutiny over other allegations relating to workplace conduct and financial impropriety.

Montrezl Harrell agrees to plea deal in drug trafficking case

Montrezl Harrell looking on

Feb 12, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Montrezl Harrell (8) during pregame warm ups before the start between the Charlotte Hornets and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NBA veteran Montrezl Harrell was charged with felony drug trafficking earlier this year, but that charge was reduced in court this week.

Harrell was charged with felony trafficking less than five pounds of marijuana following a traffic stop in Richmond, Ky., on May 12. His attorney, Drew Findling, said on Wednesday that Harrell reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to have the charge reduced to marijuana possession.

Findling said Harrell “received conditional discharge at the end of 12 months” as part of the deal, accoridng to TMZ. That means the conviction will be wiped from the 28-year-old’s record after a period of a year if he stays out of trouble.

Police said they found three pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed bags after Harrell was stopped for allegedly following too closely. Harrell admitted to having a small amount of marijuana in his pants. He claimed he was driving a rental car, however, and that he has never been involved in trafficking drugs in any way. You can read more details here.

Harrell remains a free agent after last playing for the Charlotte Hornets. He won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-2020. Harrell was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the second round in 2015 and has averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during his career.

Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for Tom Brady Super Bowl ring scheme

Tom Brady throws a pass

Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A New Jersey man was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday after he admitted to fraudulently obtaining three Super Bowl rings and selling them for a massive profit.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced in a press release that 25-year-old Scott Spina Jr. was sentenced to 36 months and ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution after he posed as a former New England Patriots player in order to purchase Super Bowl rings. Spina pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft on Feb. 1.

Spina launched an elaborate scheme in 2017 when he purchased a Super Bowl LI ring from a former Patriots player. He paid for the ring with at least one bad check and then sold it soon after to a well-known Orange County, Calif., championship ring broker for $63,000. When Spina bought the ring, he managed to obtain information about how players can purchase rings for family members.

Spina used that information to come up with a plan to purchase three Super Bowl rings from a company called the Ring Company. He posed as the former player whom he purchased the original ring from. Spina managed to order three family and friends Super Bowl LI rings with “Brady” engraved on them by claiming they were gifts for Brady’s baby.

After he obtained the rings, Spina then contacted the Orange County broker and offered to sell him the three family Super Bowl rings. Spina told the broker the rings were gifts that Brady had given to his nephews. The broker agreed to purchase the three rings for $81,500 but backed out when he became skeptical of the backstory.

The same day the broker backed out, Spina sold all three rings to an auction house for $100,000. One of the rings was later sold during a February 2018 auction for $337,219.

We have heard many stories over the years about counterfeit memorabilia being sold. Spina’s scheme was a lot more unique, and it is one he will be able to think about in prison for a long time.

Details on Taurean Prince’s ‘dangerous drugs’ arrest warrant revealed

Taurean Prince in a mug shot

New details have emerged regarding Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince’s arrest earlier in the week.

Prince was arrested at Miami International Airport on Thursday due to a fugitive warrant in Texas. Prince’s arrest was reported to relate to “dangerous drugs,” and a new report has offered further information on what that means.

According to Seth Kaplan of FOX 9 in Minnesota, Prince was pulled over for an expired registration, and told officers he had two legally-owned guns in his car. Officers found a vape pen and marijuana in the vehicle, and it is illegal in Texas to carry a gun while engaging in a criminal offense.

Prince was the No. 12 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and is entering his second season with the Timberwolves. The 28-year-old averaged 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in reserve duty last season, and signed a two-year, $14 million extension in June.

Bills knew about Matt Araiza issue

Matt Araiza smiling on the podium

Mar 5, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego State place kicker Matt Araiza (PK01) talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie punter Matt Araiza and two of his former college teammates are facing some extremely troubling allegations, and it turns out the Buffalo Bills have known about the situation for quite some time.

A civil lawsuit was filed on Thursday in San Diego County Superior Court that accuses Araiza and two current San Diego State football players of gang-raping a then-17-year-old girl. According to Tim Graham of The Athletic, the Bills have known about the allegations for several weeks.

Dan Gilleon, the attorney representing the alleged victim, also shared some screenshots of text messages that prove both Araiza and the Bills were made aware of the accusations as far back as July. Gilleon reached out to Araiza on July 30. He received a response from Araiza’s lawyer Kerry Armstrong, and the two exchanged some unpleasantries.

The alleged victim, now 18, says in the suit that she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party that began on the night of Oct. 16, with the assault occurring early the next day. The woman was in high school at the time of the alleged incident. You can read more details from the lawsuit here.

Araiza was a star punter on the Aztecs last year before being drafted by the Bills in April. Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko are the other players who were named in the suit. Leonard is listed on the Aztecs’ roster as a redshirt freshman, while Ewaliko was a freshman on last year’s roster but is not on the current roster.

Araiza won the Ray Guy Award last year as the best punter in college football. Nicknamed the “Punt God” for his incredible punting ability, Araiza was a sixth-round pick by the Bills.