Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin is being sued by a man who says he was severely beaten by the 2015 draft-pick inside a Manhattan nightclub in April.
The plaintiff, 22-year-old Jean Lopez, filed a lawsuit against Mauldin and other individuals, alleging that he was pummeled inside Chelsea’s Highline Ballroom after he spilled Champagne on Mauldin, according to the New York Post.
Lopez’s lawyer, Glenn Race, told the newspaper that his client was leaving the nightclub when he was hit in the face by the 6-4, 259-pound inside linebacker and suffered “multiple maxillofacial fractures” and needed “numerous plates” installed to repair the damage.
However, Mauldin’s defense attorney, Mitchell Schuster, called the suit “frivolous” in a phone interview with Newsday Sunday evening.
“Alleged is a good word because Lorenzo did not strike the plaintiff. It’s without merit,” Schuster said. “And we believe that once the plaintiff speaks with the witnesses involved and discovery is conducted, this frivolous case will end against Lorenzo because it’s really without merit.
“There’s no doubt that someone hit the plaintiff. Lorenzo saw someone else hit the plaintiff. It wasn’t him.”
Lopez reportedly told police that he was “punched twice — once in the eye, and once in the jaw — during the incident, which took place around 2:30 a.m. on April 2.” According to the report, however, Lopez couldn’t identify his attacker when he filed a complaint at the 10th Precinct.
The plaintiff reportedly is seeking unspecified damages from Mauldin, 24, and another man, Reginald Cook, who allegedly “acted in concert” by “pushing, grabbing and/or restraining” Lopez. Greenwich Village Entertainment Group, Highline’s corporate owner, and three other companies that were allegedly involved with the “Cirque Saturday” event that night also are reportedly named in the suit.
According to the New York Post, “Lopez cites grounds including assault and battery, claiming that his beating was ‘willful, intentional, unwarranted and . . . without just cause.’ He also alleges negligence and violations of New York’s Dram Shop Law, saying Mauldin and Cook were served drinks after they were already wasted.”
A Jets team spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation, but have no further comment at this time.”