The strongest allegations in the lawsuit filed Friday against Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Dolphins center Mike Pouncey target Maurkice. One of the three plaintiffs, a female, claims that Maurkice punched her in the face, rendering her unconscious.
If true, that exposes Maukice (pictured) not only to significant civil liability, but also to potential criminal liability and a possible suspension from the NFL. Maurkice insists it isn’t true.
“Any time I’ve made a mistake in my NFL career I’ve admitted to it,” Maurkice said Saturday at Steelers’ training camp, via Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “For something like this to happen and have no involvement is upsetting and hurtful to me and it’s on my mind like crazy.”
Maurkice insists that he and Mike weren’t involved in a fight, and that they took extra precautions to ensure there would be no trouble at their birthday party, held at the Cameo nightclub in Miami.
“We hired our own ex-police officer to go out with us the entire time and for something like this to happen is truly unbelievable,” Maurkice said, via Brown. “I just want to apologize to any fans that take this the wrong way. For people to say bad things, it [stinks], but sometimes you’ve got to deal with that in life and move on.”
But the Pounceys won’t be moving on; they’ll be fighting back. Lawyer Jeffrey M. Ostrowski told PFT on Saturday, after the filing of the lawsuit, that the Pounceys would sue the three plaintiffs for malicious prosecution and defamation.
Even if the Pounceys weren’t directly involved in the fracas that resulted in not one (as it originally appeared) but three different people claiming that they were, the lawsuit also claims that injuries were inflicted by members of the Pounceys’ security detail, and that the Pounceys are responsible for that alleged misconduct.
One way or the other, the situation will be resolved in court, barring an unlikely settlement. Though some have characterized the complaint as demanding a mere $15,000 in damages, the document actually seeks at least $15,000 in damages, an open-ended demand that likely includes a floor to ensure that the case won’t be relegated to small-claims court or another tribunal that would have jurisdiction over disputes of relative financial insignificance.