Three Unindicted Duke Lacrosse Players File Massive Civil Lawsuit

Three current and former Duke lacrosse players who were not among those indicted in the failed criminal case, have filed a civil lawsuit against 45 defendants, including Duke University, DA Mike Nifong, the Durham police department and several individual officers, the Duke medical center and the SANE nurses, the DNA lab and its owner in a 400 page complaint filed in federal court.

The introductory paragraph of the complaint states:

This action arises out of a combination of actors and entities that, from time to time, we refer to herein as the Consortium. The Consortium included a world renowned University, its faculty, its police department, its medical center, and a SANE nurse; a city, its city manager, its police department, and a rogue officer; a private DNA lab, its lab director, and its owner; and a prosecutor who was disbarred, and subsequently convicted of contempt and incarcerated for certain of his acts in furtherance of the Consortium’s conspiracy.

The complaint alleges a conspiracy to railroad the team members:

Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the Consortium’s conspiracy to railroad 47 Duke University students as either principals or accomplices based upon the transparently false claim of rape, sexual offense, and kidnapping made by a clinically unreliable accuser on March 14, 2006. The conspiracy was facilitated by overt acts and by the refusal to intervene on the part of those in the Consortium who knew of the wrongs conspired to be done to Plaintiffs, had the power and authority to intervene, and refused to do so.

The complaint is available in three parts, here, here and here (pdf.)


The three players bringing the suit are Ryan McFadyen, Matthew Wilson and Breck Archer. The lawyer who filed the suit is Robert Ekstrand of Durham, NC.

As to the 155 page civil lawsuit filed by the falsely accused players, Former DA Mike Nifong said today he will move to dismiss it.

Also pending: Coach Pressler's lawsuit against the school. He now says the school breached their settlement agreement.

Duke settled with the exonerated players and their families this summer, but the details of the deal have not been disclosed. The three players demanded $30 million to settle with the city of Durham. When the city did not agree, Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann filed a federal lawsuit against the city, top adminstrators, numerous police officials and investigators, former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was disbarred and forced out of office for his prosecution of the case, and Linwood Wilson, an investigator in Nifong's office.

Pressler settled with Duke in April, but several months ago the coach filed suit in Durham County court saying Duke had reneged on details of their private agreement.

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  • Display: Sort:
    people's court (none / 0) (#1)
    by manys on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 10:02:32 PM EST
    Talk about milkin' it!

    this is what happens (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 10:27:03 PM EST
    when you immediately jump to conclusions, based on negligible information. i expect it will never see the light of day in a courtroom, as the parties finally reach an out of court settlement that all can live with. this may include the firings/resignations of various parties associated with both the university and the city.

    actually, even if it isn't demanded by the plaintiff's, neither entity will be able to secure liability insurance, as long as those parties remain on the payroll.

    just so unbelievably stupid.

    It could not happen (none / 0) (#3)
    by virginia cynic on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 10:33:17 PM EST
    to a more deserving university. A school that purposely used soft stone for treads in outside stairs so that they would wear quickly and appear old and is a copy of Princeton after the duke family could not get princeton to change its name for a huge donation certainly would not hesitate to falsely accuse people.

    I'm not normally a fan of lawsuits... (none / 0) (#4)
    by roy on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 10:37:49 PM EST
    ... but I hope they get a dumptruck full of cash.  Duke can maybe keep the dumptruck when they're done with it.