Officer involved in NBA Finals scuffle with Masai Ujiri now suing for $75,000 plus other costs
The police officer involved in the altercation with Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri just before the on-court celebration of their NBA title in Oakland last summer, is now suing him in a lawsuit, which says his alleged injuries will result in a "permanent disability."
The lawsuit filed on Friday on behalf of Alan Strickland and his spouse Kelly, seeks damages from Ujiri for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and loss of consortium, in the amount of $75,000, plus other costs.
"STRICKLAND was hurt and injured in his health, strength, and activity, sustaining injury to his body and shock of injury to his nervous system and person, all of which said injuries have caused and continue to cause Plaintiff ALAN STRICKLAND great mental, physical, and nervous pain and suffering. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that said injuries will result in some permanent disability," the suit says.
A spokesperson for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment said Monday they had just received the suit and had no comment at this time.
Cellphone video that surfaced showed Ujiri and Strickland surrounded by fans, security and media after the alleged incident in which Strickland was wearing a police vest, before point guard Kyle Lowry pulled him onto the court to celebrate.
The officer claimed at the time that Ujiri didn't have the proper credential to get onto the court and that Ujiri pushed him out of the way, while getting hit in the face.
"Mr. Ujiri attended a meeting with the District Attorney's Office focused on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside of the courtroom," spokesperson Teresa Drenick said at the time.
Despite the dropped charges, the lawsuit is still calling for a jury trial.
Along with the physical and mental repercussions claimed by the officer, his spouse also claims that because of his permanent injuries, "she will be deprived of her love, companionship, comfort, care, services, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support."
NEWSTALK1010 Legal Analyst Ed Prutschi says while the lawsuit can't be ignored, on its surface it appears to be a dramatic over-statement based on what we know about the case so far.
"Unless they've got substantial proof of other injury and substantial proof that Masai Ujiri was the cause of those injuries, they're going to be up the proverbial creek without their legal paddle," he said.