Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp

What’s going on with the four remaining cases against Deshaun Watson?

Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp

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Last October, then-Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson could have settled all but four of the civil lawsuits pending against him. He wanted to solve them all or none.

This week, Watson reached a tentative settlement with all but four of the people who sued him for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. So what happens to the other four?

Attorney Tony Buzbee has revealed the claims of Ashley Solis, the first person to be sued, will continue. Once 20 of the 24 cases have been dismissed, the identity of the other three remaining plaintiffs will be known.

There are two explanations for the failure to resolve four of the cases. The plaintiffs either want more than what Watson has offered, or at this point they just want to go to trial, have their voices heard, and allow a jury to decide whether Watson violated their rights.

As Brent Schrotenboer of USA today, Solis may have the strongest case against Watson. Houston Police Detective Kamesha Baker recently testified to that effect, and Watson admitted under oath that Solis had “watery eyes” at the end of the session.

“Ashley Solis actually got a text after the massage that said there was questionable activity there in which we thought, ‘OK, well, why would you want to send that text if everything was fine? Baker testified, via Schrotenboer. “If everything was fine in the massage, why would you basically send her an apology for the massage?”

Solis initiated the process, with Buzbee filing a pretrial settlement request on his behalf for $100,000. With that amount serving as an opening position, Buzbee was no doubt ready to take less. But Watson’s camp (Rusty Hardin was not involved at the time) refused to hire Buzbee and wanted him to make a new offer. As disputes arise, it is an even greater violation of etiquette to go directly from a double dog challenge to a three dog challenge.

Lawyers don’t like being asked to bid against themselves. The process involves a rhythm, a back and forth. Watson’s reps should have offered around $20,000, in order to flesh out Buzbee’s results based on his next move.

And for those who insist that this is “extortion”, it is not. Pre-litigation efforts happen all the time. It helps to settle claims before they become civil actions, for everyone. In this case, both sides would have benefited from a low-key, low-key effort to deliver justice.

Now that Solis has been forced to put her name, face and voice on TV and elsewhere, she may be ready to drop the tokens where they might at trial. That said, there’s most likely a figure between $100,000 and, say, $1 million that would lead him to end it now. She is fully within her rights to make that decision – and it could all have been short-circuited if Watson’s reps hadn’t been so short-sighted when the claim was brought to their attention.

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