Lawsuit No. 23 against Deshaun Watson was filed last week, more than a year after No. 22 was initiated. The next one will be filed a lot more quickly than that.
Attorney Tony Buzbee told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the 24th lawsuit officially will be filed on Monday, June 6.
The new cases will serve only to complicate the process of getting each of them resolved, especially if they each go to trial.
And that’s been the plan for these claims against Watson. One trial per plaintiff. That’s 24 trials. With none happening until after the 2022 football season ends.
There’s no way all 24 will be completed in the 2023 offseason. Barring settlements, this will hover over Watson, the Browns, and their fans for at least the next two football seasons.
Whatever the outcome. Even if Watson wins every single trial of every single case. It won’t be over until 2024, at the earliest, unless the cases are resolved.
The problem for Watson is that the cases are getting more expensive to settle. And to think they could have been resolved for relative peanuts in April 2021 if Watson and attorney Rusty Hardin had simply agreed to attach the term on which the Dolphins insisted in October — a confidentiality provision that is standard practice in the formal documents that settle civil suits.
Hardin boasted again during Friday’s radio appearance in Houston that Buzbee wanted confidentiality because he didn’t want the public to know how little his clients got. By October, that number became $100,000 each.
Today, it would probably require the attachment of another zero to get each of the cases resolved.