With Michael Chiesa now officially entering a lawsuit against the former lightweight champion Conor McGregor, here’s everything you need to know about the process, his case, and the potential consequences.
Last Monday, it emerged that Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa is suing McGregor and a host of others for their involvement in the ugly events of the UFC 223 media day in April.
Chiesa was set to take on Anthony Pettis at UFC 223 in what would have been a pivotal matchup for his own run at the title. Sure, we all know how the rescheduled showdown turned out at UFC 226 but still, he would have no doubt been absolutely dying to get into the octagon that night and perform.
‘The Maverick’ was one of those present on the bus that Conor McGregor and his teammates attacked on the UFC 223 media day and out of all of those there, probably sustained the worst physical injury.
I spoke to criminal and civil lawyer Dmitriy Shakhnevich of The Fight Lawyer podcast and in an effort to clear up the widespread confusion over how this lawsuit will affect the future of the Irishman, he used his expertise to answer several of my questions.
So who exactly is getting sued here?
The Complaint was commenced against McGregor, McGregor Sports and Entertainment, BSE Global and Barclays Center. Chiesa also sued “John Does,” which is what lawyers do when they want to sue somebody but don’t know the exact name/identity of that person. In this case, those folks would likely be the men with Conor when all of this happened.
Interestingly, Chiesa did not sue the UFC, likely because they already had some sort of agreement worked out (or maybe he just didn’t want to sue his employer).
Why exactly is he going after Conor’s promotional company, ‘McGregor Sports and Entertainment’, it seems like an odd move considering the nature of the offence?
That’s done by plaintiffs sometimes when they want to secure a potential wrongdoer with “deep pockets.” So instead of suing an individual who can become judgment proof, entities are sued.
In this case, that’s obviously not true, because Conor has very “deep pockets.” Chiesa’s lawyers just decided to play it safe and sue everyone under the sun. It’s a smart move. They didn’t want to limit their potential recovery sources.
Ok, makes sense. So what exactly are the complaints – or the official reasons given by Chiesa and his team for the lawsuit?
The Complaint includes claims for Negligence, Negligent and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Assault, Battery and Negligent Hiring.
Generally, there are basically two measures by which damages are assessed: pain and suffering and loss of earning capacity. From what I understand, Chiesa was stitched up and could not fight that night. Though he has fought since then.
What are the likely consequences for Conor and how likely is he to lose out in this one?
Unless there is something unknown, then typically, a case like this would not exceed the low six-figure range. But because this is such a high-profile matter, all bets are off. Chiesa’s lawyers did not allege a specific monetary sum in the actual Complaint.
That’s smart because they don’t want to bind themselves to a figure. So now, the Complaint must be served upon all of the defendants and they will have several weeks to answer.
Importantly though, as discussed earlier, McGregor did admit guilt to this in a criminal case, so there are really no defenses. It’s just a matter of how quickly Conor’s lawyers decide to settle this and how reasonable the demands of Chiesa’s lawyers will be.
So there you have it! It does appear as though McGregor will lose out financially because of this but I’m sure you will be grateful to hear that his fighting future will not be affected by this.
It was a truly disgusting act, let’s be real. But in all honesty, it’s hard not to take a bit of comfort in the fact that UFC 229’s main-event will not be hurt.
October 6, here we come!
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena