Family of deceased NFL star Dwayne Haskins file wrongful death lawsuit that alleges a 'blackmail and robbery conspiracy'

April 11, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was tragically killed at the age of 24 on the morning of April 9, 2022, when he was struck by a dump truck while attempting to cross I-595 in South Florida.

Now one year after that fatal incident, the wife and family of Haskins have filed a wrongful death lawsuit that names 14 different defendants and which alleges that his untimely death was the result of a "blackmail and robbery conspiracy" by some and "negligence" by others, the Daily Wire reported.

The lawsuit was filed by Florida attorney Rick Ellsley on behalf of Haskins' widow, Kalabrya Haskins, and his parents, and names as defendants the dump truck's driver, owner, and company, along with the Florida Department of Transporation and an unnamed contractor, a rental car company, a hotel, three bars and nightclubs, and four named individuals.

Accusations of "negligence"

In a statement released by Ellsley that also included the 26-page lawsuit filed in Broward County, the attorney alleged "negligence" on the part of the dump truck's driver, owner, and company, including that the driver was speeding and careless, as well as that the truck was overloaded and had poorly maintained brakes and tires, and that other drivers had been able to avoid hitting Haskins.

Florida's DOT and the unnamed contractor were similarly accused of negligence for allegedly failing to install proper signage in a construction zone along the stretch of I-595 where the incident occurred.

Likewise, the rental car company that Haskins had obtained a vehicle from was also accused of negligence for providing him with a vehicle that was "mechanically damaged" and ran out of gas, which necessitated Haskins walking along the interstate to a gas station. A 911 call from his widow confirms that he had gone looking for gas to refuel the rental vehicle.

An alleged "blackmail and robbery conspiracy"

"As to what occurred in the hours before Dwayne was killed, many questions remain unanswered," Ellsley said in the statement. "It is believed that Dwayne was targeted and drugged as part of a blackmail and robbery conspiracy. In fact, his highly-expensive watch was stolen from him shortly before his death."

ESPN reported that following Haskins' death, a toxicology report found that his blood-alcohol content level was at least .20, more than three times the legal limit of .08, and he also tested positive for ketamine and norketamine, powerful drugs used medically for anesthesia but also abused recreationally as a sedative and relaxant.

The lawsuit names as defendants a Wyndham Hotel in Boca Raton, a driving range/bar in Palm Beach County, another bar in Palm Beach, and a nightclub in Miami as all being negligent for failing to provide a "reasonably safe condition" for customers and for "allowing patrons to use drugs and to drug other patrons."

The lawsuit then pressed a claim of "battery" against four named individuals who were all accused of "drugging" Haskins in order to "blackmail and rob him" in a way that later caused or resulted in his suffering "severe injury and death."

Promising career cut short by tragic accident

The Athletic reported that Haskins was born in New Jersey but attended high school in Maryland who was considered to be a top prospect in 2016.

He went on to be a standout star quarterback at Ohio State University who was drafted in the first round by the Washington football team in 2019, where he played in a total of 16 games over two seasons.

He ultimately ended up with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021 as a backup quarterback but never saw any action on the field in that season. In March 2022, Haskins signed a one-year free-agent contract with the Steelers to remain on the team and was widely considered to be a future star for the franchise.

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