KJK Partner Samir Dahman made a radio appearance on 97.1 The Fan Tuesday to discuss the plethora of impending Deshaun Watson civil cases. The star quarterback was recently acquired by the Cleveland Browns in a highly publicized NFL trade negotiation. The decision has sparked intense debate, with some excited about the prospect of a winning season with the addition of Watson, and others who view his stardom as marred by a series of sexual assault allegations brought forth against Watson this past year.
After being accused of sexual misconduct by 22 Houston-area massage therapists, Deshaun is currently facing 22 civil court cases.
When asked about the potential impact of the quantity of cases and impeding trials, Samir stated that there is “Strength in numbers. The fact that there is 22 is not good for him.”
While currently separate lawsuits, there is still the possibility that the court could combine the cases into one trial, though not technically classified as a “class-action” lawsuit. Samir explains:
“Because there are so many of them, and they are relatively similar, I would think that the court will [consolidate the lawsuits] and the reason that’s bad for him is you’re going to have 22 people saying, “you did something bad” versus in a separate civil trial I think the court would preclude other accusers from coming in and saying he did something similar to them to prove liability in each of their separate cases.”
As the host mentions, the Browns management did not meet with, or speak to, the Watson accusers; a common complaint from NFL spectators and Browns fans alike. When asked about the Browns’ rationale and potential liability, Samir reasons:
“Employers can be held liable for the negligent act of their employees… but, it has to be in the scope of their work, right? If someone negligently gets drunk and causes a car accident, their employer can’t be held liable unless they were doing it in the scope of their work. [Deshaun’s] work for the Browns includes practicing, preparing for games and competing in games and I would say that there’s not much liability for the Browns [if he] sexually assaulted someone… Of course, they have public relations to manage, but from a legal perspective, I don’t think they have the legal exposure for whatever due-diligence they did on him.”
Listen to the full radio broadcast here, with Samir’s conversation beginning around the 113:30 mark.