Attorney: 20 of 24 cases against Browns QB Deshaun Watson have settled
from Zac Wassink, with www.yardbarker.com
It was reported last week that the NFL Players Association “is bracing for a recommendation by the league of ‘unprecedented’ punishment” for Cleveland Browns star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was, at that time, facing a minimum of 24 active civil lawsuits regarding allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Ahead of the weekend, a different story said that it’s believed the NFL will “probably” look to suspend Watson for one entire season even though he’s repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and had two grand juries decline to indict him.
Watson’s legal situation changed significantly on the first day of summer.
Per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk and Sarah Barshop of ESPN, Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 24 women suing Watson, announced Tuesday that 20 of his clients have settled.
“Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled,” Buzbee explained in a statement shared by media outlets. “We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won’t comment further on the settlements or those cases.”
Ashley Solis, the first plaintiff to file a lawsuit against Watson, and three other individuals are moving forward with their cases as of now.
“Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story,” Buzbee added in his statement. “Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to trying these cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court’s schedule.”
Even if the remaining four cases are settled or thrown out, Watson could be banned from playing for part or all of the upcoming season if the NFL finds he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. It’s unclear when such a punishment may be announced or if Tuesday’s developments will at all impact the NFL’s investigation of the 26-year-old.