Man mistakenly ID’d as fan who threw beer on Titans player files lawsuit against Browns
CLEVELAND– The man who says he was accused by the Cleveland Browns of dumping a beer on a Tennessee Titans player filed a lawsuit against the team.
It stems from an incident during the Browns home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sept. 8. In the fourth quarter, Baker Mayfield was picked off by Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler, who returned it for a touchdown. During his celebration, fellow cornerback Logan Ryan jumped into the Dawg Pound and a fan dumped beer on the player.
Soon after, Eric Smith said he was contacted by an employee for the Browns, who accused him of being the fan in question. But, according to the suit, Smith has not been to a Browns game in more than nine years. He said he was at home with wife, before leaving to DJ a wedding.
“He just kind of doubled down on everything like, ‘We know it was you.’ And I got mad, I got really angry and I started raising my voice at him. He said, ‘You don’t have to get defensive. If you are innocent, then you wouldn’t be so defensive and if you are not a fan like you say, then this wont matter to you.’ I was like, well it kind of matters,” Smith told FOX 8 during an interview in September.
In the lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Monday, Smith is suing for negligence, defamation and emotional distress. He is seeking a retraction from the team, $25,000 in damages and reimbursement for legal fees.
A Cleveland Browns spokesman declined to comment because it’s a pending legal matter.