Auto accident lawsuit claims Cowboys owned the vehicle that Ezekiel Elliott was driving

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That lawsuit filed against the Cowboys claims as a factual matter that the team and the local police conspired to conceal the severity of an automobile accident involving running back Ezekiel Elliott, days before a playoff game against the Packers in January 2017. But the lawsuit itself makes no legal claims arising from those contentions.

As it turns out, based on the document posted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys are named because the plaintiff alleges that the Cowboys owned the vehicle that Elliott was driving, and that they negligently entrusted the car to him when the Cowboys knew or should have known that he’s a negligent or reckless driver.

It’s otherwise a garden-variety personal injury case, one that should have been resolved by now, given that the police report indicates Elliott admitted that he “accidentally” ran a red light, causing the crash. His insurance carrier (Allstate, based on the police report) would have/should have been attempting to resolve the case. Given that the plaintiff is also an Allstate customer (based again on the police report), those efforts surely occurred.

Apparently, the two sides have been unable to reach an acceptable deal.

As to the question of whether the lawsuit was filed within the relevant statute of limitations (the July 30, 2019 filing comes months after the two-year anniversary of the crash), the document is called an “amended petition.” This indicates that the lawsuit already was filed, presumably within the two-year period for doing so.

Regarding the claim that the Cowboys owned the vehicle, the amended petition makes the claim based on the inherently fuzzy concept of “information and belief,” which gives lawyers cover to make accusations that could end up being not entirely true. The police report lists Elliott as the owner of the car; it’s possible that the plaintiff’s lawyer has become aware of something that created at a minimum suspicion that the Cowboys actually own the car.

If they do, it raises a potential question for the league to explore. Free use of a car becomes a tangible benefit that would need to be accounted for under the salary cap; failure to do so could set the team up for league scrutiny — especially if it turns out that this wasn’t an aberration but that it’s part of a broader trend.

That’s all speculation at this point. For now, though, something happened to make the lawyer representing the plaintiff believe that the Cowboys own the vehicle that Elliott was driving.

19 responses to “Auto accident lawsuit claims Cowboys owned the vehicle that Ezekiel Elliott was driving

  1. Probably a pool car used by whoever. Cowboys can claim he was bringing it back from the dealer or getting gas.

    Pretty flimsy argument here and my guess is there are much more lucrative salary cap transgressions then loaning of a car. Even if it is a car that the Cowboys let Elliot use full time, it’s what, $60k value, depreciated over 5 or more years? So a $20k per year salary cap oversight? On an $10m contract?

    This isn’t college where if this was A&M owning a car and a player was driving it, and NCAA violations.

  2. The issue is, is Zeke allowed to drive the car? is he considered an approved driver by Cowboys Insurance carrier? If he’s not then the cowboys and Zeke can get screwed, obviously we don’t know about the severity of the accident and injuries that the person suing sustained.
    stampnhawk says:
    August 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    Probably a pool car used by whoever. Cowboys can claim he was bringing it back from the dealer or getting gas.

    Pretty flimsy argument here and my guess is there are much more lucrative salary cap transgressions then loaning of a car. Even if it is a car that the Cowboys let Elliot use full time, it’s what, $60k value, depreciated over 5 or more years? So a $20k per year salary cap oversight? On an $10m contract?

    This isn’t college where if this was A&M owning a car and a player was driving it, and NCAA violations.

  3. In my state no fault insurance takes care of these things when drivers have diff insurance with the exception of injuries: then it has to be settled sometimes in court. Since both drivers have same insurance my guess is the company made the one driver an offer and he turned it down on advice of his lawyer.

  4. I read elsewhere the driver of the car Zeke hit was suing for $20mil, anyone else think that when the other driver heard who was driving the car that hit him all he saw was dollar signs flashing?

  5. If the Cowboys are in fact the owners of this car then it is a little bit insane that they didn’t pay the injured party off to make this go away. My guess is that the lawyer and injured party are seeing big $$$ signs and thought that both Zeke and the Cowboys would pony up out of pocket to make another public bruise to the player/organization go away. Clearly they are now airing all the dirty laundry they can, so they must have determined that a cooperative payday wasn’t in the making . . . but now they have no quasi-blackmail dirt to dangle and will have to take whatever the insurance company ends up paying.

  6. If True and this was the Patriots My lord Goodell would of torn them apart.Curious to see how Goodell can cover this up if true

  7. stampnhawk says:
    August 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    Probably a pool car used by whoever. Cowboys can claim he was bringing it back from the dealer or getting gas.

    Pretty flimsy argument here and my guess is there are much more lucrative salary cap transgressions then loaning of a car. Even if it is a car that the Cowboys let Elliot use full time, it’s what, $60k value, depreciated over 5 or more years? So a $20k per year salary cap oversight? On an $10m contract?

    This isn’t college where if this was A&M owning a car and a player was driving it, and NCAA violations.

    ——————————
    It really depends on the details. If this was a two year old Ford Focus that lived in a general pool and various employees, including occasionally a player, drove it then it would be laughable trying to make something of the cap rules over that. But for the other extreme if this was a new Lamborghini the team purchased so Eliot could have it to use that actually would be pretty questionable.

  8. Allstate. After having represented plaintiffs in Texas in auto accident cases, I can state unequivocally that Allstate is the most despicable company to deal with. Sooooooo.

  9. These ambulance chasing lawyers should be disbarred. I get tired of seeing them go w/stuff like this. I dont care who owned the car! Who was driving? That is what matters.
    They gonna sue the dude who pumped the tank of gas that the car was running on, when the accident occurred…they gonna sue the oil manufacturer….the tire maker? I could go on all day.

  10. Such an obvious money grab. Zeke admitted fault, Zeke was insured, nobody was hurt. The police dash cam shows both Zeke and the other driver decline medical treatment, and I guarantee the other driver already got paid for the damages to his vehicle. So why is this guy suing everybody 2 1/2 years later? Because when people have any kind of accident/altercation with a celebrity, somebody always tries to convince them they just hit the jackpot.

  11. jlbay says:
    August 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm
    If the Cowboys are in fact the owners of this car then it is a little bit insane that they didn’t pay the injured party off to make this go away. My guess is that the lawyer and injured party are seeing big $$$ signs and thought that both Zeke and the Cowboys would pony up out of pocket to make another public bruise to the player/organization go away. Clearly they are now airing all the dirty laundry they can, so they must have determined that a cooperative payday wasn’t in the making . . . but now they have no quasi-blackmail dirt to dangle and will have to take whatever the insurance company ends up paying.
    ==================================================================================

    What injured party? They released police dash cam footage of the other driver declining medical treatment. The responding officer ask Zeke and the other driver if they needed an ambulance and they both said no, they were good.

  12. joetoronto says:
    August 1, 2019 at 12:44 pm
    Jerrah the enabler Jones is pathetically desperate.
    ______________________________________________________
    A Raiders fan using the term “pathetic” in regards to another team. That’s rich!!

  13. Here in Denver, there is a continuous ad that shows a woman casually sitting in a chair who raves about a personal injury lawyer who got her $2.4 million for her car crash. The lawyer is a well-known shady entity here. Presumably there is at least one in Dallas and every other city in the U.S.

  14. “The lawsuit filed against the Cowboys claims as a factual matter that the team and the local police conspired to conceal the severity of an automobile accident“

    So what if they did? No question that would be very bad behavior, but what damages come from it? Zeke already admitted to the accident itself so any damages they show should be settled easily by insurance companies (I read somewhere that they also just happen to have the same insurance company so even easier). As far as additional damages because of any attempted whitewash what would they really be?

  15. They’re not suing for money. It’s about respect. You know, like free agent contracts.

  16. Yeah, the guy is probably upping the ante to put the squeeze on the Cowboys. If, and that’s a big if, it’s true that the car belongs to the Cowboys and they let Elliott use it regularly, it’s not just a salary cap issue. It would also be an income tax benefit to Elliott. Not that the tax would be much, but the penalties for the Cowboys’ failure to report to the IRS it could be substantial. I’d have to look it up to be sure, but I think it could be as much as $500K per violation–meaning that if it was a practice with other players it would be another violation for failure to report in each case.

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