Four weeks to the day after the filing of the lawsuit that has ended, for now, receiver Antonio Brown’s NFL career, his accuser has filed a new lawsuit.
It’s basically the same lawsuit, filed in a Florida state court and not in federal court. The new lawsuit contains some minor revisions and additional information, but the biggest development is that Britney Taylor has opted to proceed not in federal court but in state court.
Typically, persons who file lawsuits prefer state court. The decision becomes more complicated for plaintiffs who live in a different state than the state where the lawsuit is filed. Congress has long recognized the existence of “home cooking” in such cases, creating and preserving federal court jurisdiction when the plaintiff lives in one state and the defendant lives in another, and when the case has more than $75,000 at stake.
Taylor, who lives in Tennessee, originally relied on so-called “diversity jurisdiction” when suing Brown, who lives in Florida, in a Florida federal court. Over the past four weeks, she and her lawyers have decided to pursue the case in state court instead.
The new complaint includes text messages that Taylor allegedly sent in January 2019 to a group known as #TimesUpNow regarding her claim that Brown raped her. The new complaint also contends that “[s]ince Ms. Taylor’s allegations against Brown were made public, Brown has made or authorized a number of untrue public statements about Ms. Taylor, including the claim that Brown’s assault of Ms. Taylor was part of a consensual sexual relationship.”
The new complaint has some subtle changes as well. For example, the original complaint contends that Taylor, Brown, and a still-unnamed football player (believed to be Ravens receiver Marquise Brown) rode in the same car from a club to Brown’s home, where the alleged rape occurred. The new complaint alleges that Taylor and Antonio Brown rode back to his home in one car, and that Marquise Brown rode in another car.
Still, the core claims regarding sexual assault and rape are unchanged. The biggest difference is the general court system and the specific court that will handle the case.