HOUSTON (WJW) – A judge will soon decide if Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson needs to sit for more depositions in several of the 22 lawsuits filed against him, and also if his accusers need to hand over their medical records to his attorneys.
A hearing to discuss those issues is set for 10 a.m. Monday in Harris County District Court .
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women accusing Watson of sexual misconduct, had wanted to take more pretrial deposition of Watson last week. However, Watson’s attorneys said he was not available because he started a new job in Ohio.
Watson has already sat for some depositions and is willing to sit for additional depositions at a later time, his attorneys state. He has denied all of the allegations made by the women.
However, on Friday, Buzbee filed a motion in court saying Watson should be ordered to appear for the depositions this month.
“Defendant offers no reason for his failure to appear for deposition, other than rhetoric clearly intended for the press,” Buzbee stated in his brief. “Defendant goes so far to mislead, claiming that his “full-time job” prevents him from appearing for deposition, when in fact he only ‘works’ throwing a football four days a week at this point, not five.”
Attorneys for Watson have stated their client is available for depositions at other times, just not during the Browns off-season workout program that started in April. But Buzbee says his clients have called off work to attend depositions.
“To avoid being deposed during the discovery period, Defendant contends that he ‘has a full-time job that requires his presence in Ohio Monday through Friday’ and is thus unavailable for the dates that Plaintiffs noticed,” the motion states. “But, Defendant’s claim that he is required to be in Ohio Monday through Friday for work is simply false. According to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement: ‘All other Clubs may schedule or conduct offseason workout programs for no more than nine consecutive total weeks, to be completed over a ten-week period. In either case, Clubs may schedule no more than four workouts per week for any individual player. Such workout programs shall not be permitted on weekends.’ Under the Agreement, players are actually only allowed to do four workouts a week. And as a general rule, teams are off on Fridays. Defendant’s ‘work’ is throwing a football. No doubt that is important work, certainly from his point of view. However, such work is not so critical, vital or crucial that it prevents him from appearing for deposition within this Court’s scheduling order. This Court should deny Defendant’s Motion to Quash and order Defendant to appear for deposition in the month of May.”
Watson’s attorneys, however say two of the accusers have not yet sat for depositions and testified to their allegations under oath and state none of the accusers have turned over their complete medical records.
Watson’s attorneys say they believe there are inconsistencies in the accusers allegations. They maintain that Watson denies all the allegations.
Two of Watson’s attorneys, Rusty Hardin and Leah Graham, filed a motion asking for all the medical records.
Watson is not facing any criminal charges. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict him on any charges.
There are no trial dates set for the civil lawsuits. However, Buzbee says one client wants to take her case to court in July.