One week ago, we brought you the story of San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker getting shards of glass in his left eye during a "bloody, bottle-throwing melee" inside New York City nightclub W.i.P. that reportedly resulted from a "rap" "beef" between "rap" "men" Drake and Chris Brown over Rihanna (who is apparently down with the Miami Heat). It was very weird and very unfortunate, given that Parker's expected to lead the French men's national basketball team in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in just five weeks. But when Parker told media that no serious damage was done, that he'd be sidelined just a week and that he would in no way be compromised in London, it seemed like a story destined to make you say, "Wait, what?!?!?" and then disappear into the ether.
And then, Parker decided to file a $20 million lawsuit against W.i.P and its owners — reportedly a club-running dude named Barry Mullineaux and the artists' group Collective Hardware — for allowing a situation to unfold in which he could suffer a scratched cornea and be very, very endangered. When that kind of money's in the paperwork, the story doesn't tend to just go away.
From The Associated Press:
The suit was filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday. It says the W.i.P club in SoHo and its operators were negligent in security and supervision, which allowed the fight to take place.
Chris Brown, his girlfriend and his bodyguard were among eight injured during the fight inside the club last week. Police say members of Drake's entourage stopped Brown as he was leaving. The fight escalated and bottles were thrown.
As you might expect, TMZ has some more details on the suit:
The lawsuit alleges club management, knowing there was "bad blood between Drake and Brown," was driven by the almighty buck and continued selling alcohol to the participants in the brawl, despite the fact that some were "visibly intoxicated." [...]
As for whether Chris Brown or Drake will be added as defendants, Parker's lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, tells TMZ ... he's waiting for the results of the police investigation. He also wants to review the surveillance tape before making his decision.
This seems like an awful big bomb to throw if you walked away from a dangerous situation relatively unscathed — he said, intending no disrespect to the severity of a scratched cornea, which he certainly does not want to endure — and that has led some to speculate that maybe Parker didn't walk away as unscathed as it previously seemed.
Parker's got three years and $37.5 million remaining on a four-year, $50 million extension he signed with the Spurs back in October 2010 that will take him through his age 33 season. But the final year of that deal is unguaranteed, according to ShamSports.com's salary database, and while Parker's shown absolutely no signs of slowing down in his career — on the contrary, he's coming off a season that might have been his all-around best — if his eyesight or court vision are in any way compromised by this incident, he could potentially lose out on tens of millions of dollars, whether in this contract, his next one or both.
The difference between an All-NBA point guard who can score while also finding his teammates and a guy who can't see everything that's happening around him is a big difference. If you've got an actionable case — and you'd have to imagine Parker can at least make the argument that the club's bartenders, management and/or security were either not up to par or deliberately looking the other way to cater to their star clientele — then why not press it? Try to mitigate the fallout on the back end if the medical reports don't turn out the way you want, and if they do, well, hey, at least you stuck it to the jerks who let a couple of empty young ciphers and their entourages lob liquor bottles around a packed nightclub like they were water balloons. Sounds like a win-win to me.
The club's owners have not yet publicly commented on the suit. Presumably, they are still working out how many o's should go in, "Oh, nooooooooooooo." (I guesstimated.)
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