The Deshaun Watson litigation has landed in court, and Watson has won the first battle.
Per multiple reports, a Texas judge has ruled that one of the 20 plaintiffs proceeding under a pseudonym must re-file the case with her name attached to it.
The speed with which the ruling was issued suggests that Hardin’s simple, straightforward argument under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure reflects an accurate interpretation of the notion that, for adults who file lawsuits, they must use their names so that the defendant has fair notice of the claims being made and the person who is making them.
Via Mike Meltser, attorney Tony Buzbee opposed the motion to require the use of the plaintiff’s name by arguing that Ashley Solis has received at least 10 death threats since going public on Tuesday. That argument did not prevail, and frankly it could make the 20 unnamed plaintiffs more likely to accept a reasonable settlement in lieu of attaching their names to their claims against Watson.
Ultimately, that was Hardin’s goal, in our view. By forcing the unnamed plaintiffs to reveal their identities, some if not most if not all of them will accept a settlement proposal instead.