As expected, Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha has indicated that he plans to file a civil lawsuit against the NYPD, New York City, and the officers who were involved in an incident outside of a nightclub on April 8th, which resulted in a broken leg.
The notice of claim was filed on October 21st, and puts the value of a claim at $50 million. It is entirely possible that the value of the claim could change, as his lawyers are not yet required to set an exact dollar amount.
The Initial Incident
Most NBA fans will remember Sefolosha for his time spent as a starter with the Oklahoma City Thunder, although he played second fiddle to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Sefolosha was traded to the Hawks in 2014, but missed the playoffs due to a run-in with NYPD officers in April of 2015.
While the details of the incident are hazy, Sefolosha had a dispute with officers stemming from the stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland. Accounts of the incident all suggest that officers were aggressive in trying to clear the scene, and Sefolosha was taken to the ground after questioning an officer. Although he was initially charged with disorderly conduct and several related charges, Sefolosha was found not guilty at the beginning of the month.
Does Sefolosha Have a Claim?
Due to the severity of the injuries, and the nature of Sefolosha's career, it seems that he has a very valid claim for compensation. In addition to pain and suffering damages, and possible (though unlikely) punitive damages, he could be awarded damages due to his civil rights being violated by a person acting under state authority.
Sefolosha has stated that this is about more than the value of the claim, and instead hopes that a high-profile "police brutality" case will help raise awareness of how the issue affects those who don't have the means to fight back.
Have you been injured due the reckless or negligent behavior of another? Call (248) 513-8710 today to pursue justice.