Texas attorney Tony Buzbee filed suit against the Houston Texans on Monday, saying the team “enabled” former quarterback Deshaun Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct against his clients during massage sessions.
Buzbee is representing the remaining four women suing Watson, accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Buzbee indicated earlier this month he planned to add the Texans to the litigation. He followed through on that less than a week after settling 20 of 24 cases with Watson. It also comes one day before Watson’s reported hearing with the NFL, with some predicting the league could suspend the 26-year-old for the upcoming season.
“Today we filed the first case of what will likely be many against the Houston Texans related to Deshaun Watson’s behavior,” Buzbee said in a statement provided to Cleveland.com. “Suffice it to say, the overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning. We believe the Texans knew or most certainly should have known of Watson’s conduct.”
Buzbee cited information from the Houston Police Department.
The first lawsuit was filed in March 2021, with a flurry of additional women also filing complaints over the following months to bring the total to 24.
The women all allege Watson committed sexual improprieties during the course of a massage. He has denied all accusations, and two grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against Watson earlier this year.
The Browns acquired Watson, 26, from the Houston Texans in a trade in March and signed him to a five-year deal with $230m in guaranteed money.
Watson did not play during the 2021 NFL season. In 2020, the three-time Pro Bowl selection led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and set a career high with 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.