Rams defensive lineman Dominique Easley has been ordered to pay $149,000 to a former college football player who was bitten by Easley’s pit bull.
The victim, former Virginia Tech linebacker Wiley Brown, didn’t know Easley but was at his home because Easley had asked a mutual friend to feed the dog while Easley was out of town, and the friend asked Brown to come with her. A jury sided with Brown this week, although lawyers for both sides acknowledged that Florida law is unclear about whether Easley is really responsible for injuries suffered by a man whom Easley hadn’t invited into his home.
Easley’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, told the Palm Beach Post he filed a motion for a new trial based on questions about whether Easley could be liable when he hadn’t invited Brown into his home. Brown’s attorney admitted there are still outstanding issues that will be addressed in Easley’s appeal.
“There are some legal issues about this for sure,” lawyer Kevin Smith said. “I believe the law supported our win, but I don’t know what the appellate courts will decide ultimately.”
Smith argued that the injuries suffered to Brown’s wrist and ankle ended his chances of making it to the NFL, although Brown was mostly a special teams player at Virginia Tech and was not considered a pro prospect.
When the Patriots cut Easley, the dog bite lawsuit was one of a long list of off-field issues that reportedly had the Patriots concerned.
Brown is one of at least four people — including Easley — known to have been bitten by the dog, which has since been euthanized.