The Texans are doing what Deshaun Watson should have done. The team is resolving all cases against it, quickly.
Via KPRC 2 in Houston, the Texans have negotiated settlement agreements with 30 women who had potential claims against the team, arising from the alleged misconduct of former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ role, other than to say that there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so,” attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “As previously reported, only one of the 30 women who made allegations against the Texans filed a formal lawsuit. That particular lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice as soon as the appropriate settlement paperwork is complete.”
This leaves four pending cases against Watson, given the recent settlement of 20 claims.
“We hope to try them all in the spring of next year,” Buzbee said regarding the four remaining claims against Watson. “In the meantime, we will continue to do the important work to prepare for such.”
The fact that the Texans settled with 30 women suggests that six more lawsuits could still be filed against Watson.
In the one lawsuit that had been filed against the Texans, it was contended the team knew or should have known about Watson’s alleged proclivities but failed to take action to stop it. Instead, the team allegedly facilitated Watson’s habit, actual or perceived or otherwise, of arranging massages through social media and trying to make them into sexual encounters.
Ordinarily, the terms of such agreements are confidential. Whether the league will allow the Texans to enter into a broad nondisclosure agreement is a different question. Mary Jo White, after investigating the Panthers following the departure of founder Jerry Richardson, recommended that the league prohibit teams from using NDAs that would limit cooperation with league investigations. The league apparently has not yet adopted that recommendation.
It also remains to be seen whether the settlements will spark an investigation of the Texans. We’ve posted that question to the league.