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The NBA season may be over, but the action is just heating up in one New York court. On Thursday, Tony Parker, a veteran point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, filed this lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York in New York County, a trial court in Manhattan, stemming from an altercation in a Manhattan club. Parker alleges, inter alia, that the owners and operators of W.i.P., a club in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, were negligent on the night of June 14, when popular lyricists Drake and Chris Brown were involved in a scuffle that caused Parker to suffer an eye injury.
According to the Complaint, the club admitted Drake and Brown “despite known tension between the two.” Drake and Brown were then involved in an altercation “involving bottle throwing, possible gun shots, and a general melee.” Consequently, Parker, who was seated in a different part of the club from Drake or Brown, suffered an injury to his eye. Parker left the bar unaware of the extent of the injury, but later consulted with an optometrist, who indicated that a shard of glass had entered Parker’s eye. Parker is now unsure whether he will be able to play for his home country of France in the Summer Olympics.
Parker alleges that the club negligently supervised its patrons and had insufficient security on the night of the altercation, and also engaged in a cover-up. Parker’s attorney seems poised to pierce W.i.P.’s corporate veil, as the Complaint lists a handful of individual and corporate defendants. One such defendant is “Collective Hardware, Inc.,” a New York corporation that allegedly operates W.i.P. in conjunction with Barry Mullineaux. As the Complaint hints, Mullineaux has engaged in shady dealings and has run into legal problems in the past. Parker, who stands to earn $12.5 million next season playing for the Spurs, is seeking $20 million in damages from the club and other joined defendants.
At this time, Drake and Brown are not listed defendants in the action; however, Parker’s attorney has not ruled out this possibility, and is awaiting the results of the police investigation. A representative for Drake, meanwhile, has cautiously insisted “Drake did not participate in any wrongdoing of any kind . . . at W.i.P. He was on his way out of the club when the altercation began.” Brown would have greater difficulty making such an assertion, as he posted pictures of a gash he suffered on Twitter shortly after the confrontation.
Since the lawsuit is still in its infancy, many questions remain. Are the operators and owners of W.i.P. liable? Will Parker sue Drake and/or Brown for their alleged roles? And perhaps most important to basketball fans, will Parker ever fully recover? Stay tuned for the answers.
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