Deshaun Watson Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuits
During the past few years, dozens of women have accused NFL star Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. There have been twenty four civil lawsuits filed against him. The allegations in these lawsuits stem from interactions between Watson and massage therapists.
Several therapists claim that Watson sexually assaulted or sexually harassed them over the course of 17 months.
At the time, Watson was playing for the Houston Texans. Watson is currently the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
In March 2021, two Texas grand juries failed to indict Watson on criminal charges relating to sexual assault allegations. Twenty-two women filed civil lawsuits shortly after that. About one week before the settlement announcement, Watson remained adamant that he “never assaulted anyone…never harassed anyone…never forced anyone to do anything.”
On June 21, 2022, NPR reported that Watson has settled 20 of 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits. The women’s lawyer Tony Buzbee said that the settlements are confidential and that there would be no further comment on the amounts or terms of any agreements. Buzbee said he plans to follow through with trials for the remaining four sexual assault lawsuits.
Will New York Adult Survivors Act Result in More Sexual Assault Lawsuits?
The lawsuits against Watson were filed well within Texas’s statute of limitations for such claims. In New York state, the statute of limitations for sexual assault and sexual abuse lawsuits is being suspended, opening a window to file previously time-barred claims.
The New York Adult Survivors Act (ASA) states –
If someone sexually abused or assaulted you when you were at least 18, you will have one year to file a lawsuit against them. The one-year period begins in November 2022 and ends in November 2023. You will have the opportunity to file your ASA lawsuit during that one-year window regardless of how long ago the assault occurred or how old you are now.
New York modeled the ASA after the Child Victims Act (CVA), which provided a similar look-back window for individuals who were sexually abused as children. Several states across the nation passed similar laws after it became apparent that the abuse of children within certain secular and religious organizations was rampant. The extra time the CVA provided allowed victims of child sex abuse to seek compensation from their abusers and the institutions that covered up the abuse.
The New York ASA recognizes that victims of sexual assault at any age need time to process the events surrounding their abuse or assault. The law also recognizes that institutions, universities, and organizations across the country have failed to provide adequate support and protection for victims of sexual assault. Time will tell if other states follow New York’s lead and give victims of adult sexual assault and sexual abuse a renewed chance to have their day in court.
Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, for a Free Evaluation of Your Claim Under the Adult Survivors Act
If you were sexually assaulted or sexually abused when you were at least 18, you might be entitled to seek compensation by filing an ASA lawsuit. Call our ASA lawyers at (800) 403-6191 today to receive a free evaluation of your Adult Survivors Act claim.
Our sexual abuse lawyers fight for the rights of sexual assault victims. Let us help you take advantage of the New York Adult Survivors Act and collect the maximum compensation allowed by law.