Judge tosses parts of civil lawsuit against OU running back Joe Mixon
NORMAN, Okla. – A judge has agreed to dismiss parts of a civil lawsuit that was filed against OU running back Joe Mixon following a fight at a Norman deli two years ago.
As we reported in July, Amelia Molitor filed a civil suit against Mixon for negligence, wanton and willful conduct and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Last month, Mixon’s attorneys told NewsChannel 4 that they believed the case should be thrown out, claiming that Molitor filed the wrong kind of lawsuit.
On Monday, a judge agreed.
According to court papers, the judge dismissed Molitor’s claims of negligence and wanton and willful conduct.
In 2014, Mixon and Molitor were talking on Campus Corner when the discussion became “heated and animated.”
The court records claim that Molitor went to a restaurant and was seated at a table when Mixon came in and initiated another discussion that became “more heated.”
“The complaint alleges that, in ‘an effort to end the discussion… Molitor pushed Mixon away from their table.’ It further alleges that Mixon then ‘forcefully struck Molitor in her face with a closed fist…’ resulting in substantial physical injuries as well as emotional distress and other injuries,” the lawsuit alleges.
After analyzing the case, a judge ruled that the case does not fall under a negligence claim, saying that intentional acts cannot be negligent.
“Even viewing the complaints allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court cannot discern any basis for viewing them as anything other than allegations of intentional conduct. And an intentional tort does not become negligence just by labeling it as such,” the judge wrote.
When it came to the wanton and willful conduct allegation, the judge ruled that it is usually tied to negligent claims. However, since he ruled this is not a negligent case, that would not apply.
“Willful and wanton misconduct does not include situations where the actor specifically intends to cause harm, but involves situations where the actor does something knowing of a high probability that serious harm will result from his actions,” the records indicate.
“The allegations show that defendant either desired to injure plaintiff or at the very least he was substantially certain that his actions would injure her,” the judge concluded.
Instead, the judge indicates that Molitor’s claim should have been an assault and battery case.
However, plaintiffs only have one year to file a lawsuit for those cases under Oklahoma law. Since the fight occurred in 2014, it is too late for assault and battery allegations to be filed.
The judge allowed Molitor’s claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress to stand.
“The court concludes the allegations- of a substantial physical attack, sufficient to cause significant physical injury, in a public location- are sufficient to support an inference of severe emotional distress from the encounter,” the judge ruled.
Molitor now has 14 days to amend the complaint.
“Joe is pleased with today’s ruling dismissing two of the claims against him. The Court recognized those claims had no legal merit. We continue to believe that the facts don’t support Ms. Molitor’s third claim, and that the Court ultimately will rule in Joe’s favor on that claim as well,” a statement from Mixon’s attorneys read.