Dismissed civil case against Deshaun Watson was not settled

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On Tuesday, lawyer Rusty Hardin said that one of the 22 civil lawsuits against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been dismissed. Hardin didn’t say whether the case was dismissed without quid pro quo or whether it was settled.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the case was not settled.

It’s still unknown why the case was dismissed. Given the timing and the context, the most reasonable explanation is that the plaintiff did not want to disclose her identity.

Regardless, 21 lawsuits remain — and all of the plaintiffs apparently will be disclosing their names in the near future. Barring settlements, the cases will proceed through the litigation process. Eventually, attorney Tony Buzbee will want to put Watson under oath and interrogate him regarding all of the pending cases during a pre-trial deposition.

In theory, Buzbee would have the ability to depose Watson 21 times, one for each case.

UPDATE 11:35 p.m. ET: The lawsuit was dropped without prejudice, meaning that it can be refiled. In the dismissal notice, the plaintiff explains that she has decided not to pursue the case “for now” due to privacy and security concerns.

5 responses to “Dismissed civil case against Deshaun Watson was not settled

  1. So if these cases are tried one by one, can the other 20 or so cases be brought up to establish pattern of conduct or does each have to stand on its own without reference to Deshaun’s alleged behavior with other women?

  2. If, and that’s a big if, all of these cases proceed to the next phase of the legal process I think we’ll have to see the league step in and take some sort of action regarding his playing status. They’ve probably been waiting to see how all of this plays out before they make any type of move. If there’s sufficient evidence to move forward then it ends only 1 of 2 ways. He settles or it goes to trial, and if he settles regardless of whether or not the language says he admits no wrongdoing in the court of public opinion he’s guilty

  3. The accused should be able to know who is accusing him, and the accuser should be able to seek justice without threats coming from the public against her. But that’s the world we live in, unfortunately.

    I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to put herself through that kind of media circus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Buzbee hasn’t properly prepared the accusers for the kind of scrutiny they will face.

  4. Buzbee will not get to depose Watson 21 times; there will be 1 deposition for each party, which means that Watson will get 21 depositions, 1 deposition for each of the plaintiffs, while Buzbee will get 1 chance to depose Watson. It may also be that more plaintiffs, rather than file under their own names, will decide to withdraw their lawsuits, and that may pose a significant bar-related problem for Buzbee.

  5. Jerry MacDaid says:
    April 14, 2021 at 11:13 am
    So if these cases are tried one by one, can the other 20 or so cases be brought up to establish pattern of conduct or does each have to stand on its own without reference to Deshaun’s alleged behavior with other women?
    _________________
    The question you asked is likely the $10 million question. It will most certainly be the subject of a very significant motion fight in virtually every one of these cases. I don’t know the rule in TX, but TX law probably aligns pretty closely with the Federal Rules of Evidence. Those rules include one that provides a general rule that evidence of prior bad acts are not admissible to prove that a person did the bad act on a particular occasion. But that rule has some big exceptions, notably that character evidence is usually allowed from a defendant if the plaintiff opens the door (by trying to prove that he/she is of good character) and character evidence can be admissible for “another purpose” such as proving intent, preparation, plan or motive. Another rules states that the probative value of any evidence must outweigh any unfair prejudice. The bottom line is that a judge needs to evaluate all of these rules based upon the facts of a particular case and make a decision that she believes is fair and balanced. As is almost always the case with evidence, there are rarely any easy answers. Some law school professor will likely use this case to teach a huge part of a first year evidence class before long.

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