Top management in the Cleveland Browns football organization might be experiencing an intensifying case of buyer’s remorse after signing quarterback Deshaun Watson earlier this year, as his current legal troubles seemingly just worsened.
According to Fox News, two of the women engaged in civil lawsuits against the star NFL player have added negligence and gross negligence claims to their filings against him, which stem from a string of alleged incidents during massage sessions in which multiple women claim he acted indecently in a number of ways.
Two of his accusers even alleged that Watson sexually assaulted them, although two Texas grand juries decided not to indict the football player on criminal charges.
As a result, a number of the women have filed civil lawsuits against Watson, which are currently being litigated.
In the filings against him, Watson has been accused of causing emotional distress and civil assault, in a total of roughly two dozen civil lawsuits.
Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women filing claims against Watson, said that more of his clients will add negligence and gross negligence claims in their filings, which, if successful, will ultimately cost Watson a lot more money.
“Deshaun Watson has denied he acted intentionally; we believe strongly that we will prove he did,” Buzbee told USA Today.
The attorney added: “We have also added a claim for negligence allowing a jury to assess liability for unreasonable and imprudent conduct as well. This claim is just another through which the jury can assess liability and damages against him. We will likely add this claim for most of the cases, although perhaps not all.”
Not surprisingly, Watson’s attorney objected to the additional claims, but the judge in the case overruled the objection.
Undoubtedly, Watson is creating headaches for his new team, but it doesn’t appear as if he’ll need to worry about the consequences anytime soon, as resolutions to the 22 civil suits will not come to a conclusion until 2023, leaving him free to play in the 2021-22 season.
There was initial speculation that the NFL could suspend Watson for the next season, but analysts don’t believe that’s a possibility given that Watson wasn’t charged criminally, and wouldn’t want the bad optics of suspending a player that could also be cleared of civil liability down the line.
For now, it appears as if luck is on Watson’s side, short of any new accusations or developments in the case. Eventually, he’ll have to answer one way or another.