I spoke with Ashland attorney Steve Farese a few minutes ago. He’s representing the Nkemdiches.
Some highlights here …
Farese calls it a “classic case of misidentification.”
Farese believes the lawsuit is vulnerable in that one person, Ford Everett, friend of plaintiff Matthew Baird, was allegedly beaten but did not file suit.
Further, the complaint claims that Denzel Nkemdiche struck Baird in the back of the head. “Now, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head,” Farese said.
Farese suggested that alcohol could have played a part in the “misidentification” and said it’s possible that witnesses for Baird did not know who they’d seen.
The listing of other football players as John Does is not uncommon. It’s done with the hope that some of them will be identified before trial.
“What often happens in situations like these, and I’ve dealt with a number of them, it was probably an alcohol-fueled party that breaks out, and after the fact someone comes up says, ‘So and so hit you.’ If you just look at the pleadings it’s pretty bare bones. It looks like a fishing expedition to me.”
The next step is for the Nkemdiches to file a response to the suit. After that deadlines will be set for discovery, and the process will move forward.
I have placed a call to the law firm representing Baird and am awaiting a response.