Judge Rabeea Sultan Collier ruled that the latest plaintiff to file a civil suit against Deshaun Watson has 24 hours to amend her petition to include her name if she wants to proceed with the civil suit.
The new plaintiff filed suit in the Harris County District Court (Texas) last Thursday, alleging a sexual misconduct incident allegedly occurred in December 2020.
The ruling was made at an emergency hearing Monday in the 113th district court in Harris County, Texas.
During the hearing, Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, asked the court to order counsel to give the plaintiff’s name and “sanctions to let us go through this.”
The lawsuit was filed under the pseudonym Jane Doe and is the 26th known lawsuit filed against the quarterback, accusing him of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse.
The plaintiff’s attorney is not Tony Buzbee, who has filed 24 lawsuits against Watson, 23 of which have been settled.
Judge Rabeea Sultan Collier ruled that the latest plaintiff to file a civil lawsuit against Deshaun Watson (pictured) has 24 hours to amend her lawsuit to give her name
However, during the hearing, Hardin revealed that his team had reframed one of Buzbee’s cases, claiming that the latest lawsuit copied it “in toto.”
“And the relevance to that is that Mr. Buzbee’s case… [one of the cases] in which the court ordered him to plead again and give us the name,” Hardin said.
“There’s no doubt they wouldn’t know to tell us the name. And we’ve been trying for 72 hours to give us the name. And that’s why we want to ask for the name and we want sanctions to let us experience this.’
In April 2021, 22 women who filed lawsuits against Watson had to change their petitions to include their names after two judges ruled they must do so to continue their lawsuits. One of the lawsuits filed against Watson was dropped.
In April 2021, 22 women who filed lawsuits against the quarterback had to change their petitions to include their names after two judges ruled they should continue their cases.
The prosecution’s attorney, Michelle Kornblith, insisted that her client and her team had no problem providing the accused’s name to the accused, but wanted assurances that it would not be made public for security reasons.
“We actually have no problem letting them know who our plaintiff is, but we would ask for a confidentiality or protection order,” Kornblith said.
“We’ve been getting hate mail and mail since this was submitted and we’re concerned for her safety. And as I said, we have no problem telling him who the plaintiff is, as long as we know she’s safe.’
Judge Collier, however, did not rule on the possibility of sanctions during Monday’s hearing.
The new accuser, a massage therapist, alleges that Watson pressured her into sexual acts during a massage session in December 2020.
“It took a while for her to come forward,” attorney Anissah Nguyen told Fox 8 WJW in Cleveland.
“She does it for herself and other women who are victims of Deshaun Watson. She knows that by speaking out, she will be dealing with the difficult conversations.’
The new accuser alleges Watson forced her into sexual acts during a massage session in December 2020
The lawsuit states: “Watson continued to pressure (the) plaintiff to massage his private area. He removed his towel and offered to let her come on top.
“(The) plaintiff refused to have sex with Watson, but he was able to pressure her into oral sex.”
The lawsuit continued that Watson paid the plaintiff $185 more for his massage, and gave $300 for her services with a one-hour massage costing $115.
The plaintiff “suffered severe depression and anxiety” following the alleged incident, the lawsuit adds.
Watson is currently serving an 11-game suspension for violations of off-field behavior related to “predatory” behavior involving more than two dozen women who alleged assault and other inappropriate behavior. He was also fined $5 million.
Watson settled 23 of the lawsuits against him during the off-season, but one remains active, according to Buzbee.
Watson settled 23 of the lawsuits against him during the off-season, but one remains active, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee (pictured)
The 26-year-old was originally banned for six games by an independent arbitrator before the NFL appealed the alleged light penalty. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had the right to rule on the appeal, but instead tapped former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to handle the duties.
But in the end, the NFL and the players’ union reached a compromise before Harvey made his decision.
As part of the deal, Watson must “immediately undergo a professional evaluation by behaviorists and follow their treatment program.” He previously told reporters that he was already in therapy.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the latest lawsuit will not affect Watson’s standing.
The three-time Pro Bowler returned to the Browns training facility for the first time this week since his suspension began on August 30.
Watson is currently serving an 11-game suspension for off-field violations related to “predatory” behavior and was also fined $5 million by the NFL
‘We will follow developments in the newly submitted procedures; and any conduct that warrants further investigation or possible additional sanctions will be addressed in the Personal Conduct Policy,” McCarthy said in an email.
Watson is only allowed to attend meetings with the Browns and train while on his way to a possible return.
He will not be allowed to train until Nov. 14, and as long as he meets the terms of his settlement with the league, he can return in full on Nov. 28 and would be eligible to play on Dec. 4 when the Browns visit the Texans.