Report: Ndamukong Suh settles suit

  • ESPN.com news services | January 10, 2013

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh paid $130,000 to settle a lawsuit by a woman who claims she was injured in a December 2011 car crash in Oregon involving the player, according to a Detroit Free Press report.

Saadia Van Winkle, a passenger in the accident, had sought $1 million from Suh in the lawsuit, in which she accused him of negligence, recklessness and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit also accused Suh of lying to 911 operators about whether anyone was injured.

Suh

Van Winkle told the Free Press that she refused to sign confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements as part of the settlement. She also told the newspaper the $130,000 was the same amount Suh had offered before she filed her lawsuit.

Suh's attorney, Mike Lehner, told the newspaper that the settlement "was more than fair compensation" and was finalized last month.

"All along, we recognized that she was going to get some amount of money to compensate her for her injuries," Lehner told the newspaper. "This was more than we think a jury would have given, but it ended the case for Ndamukong, and that's what we wanted."

Police said Suh was not impaired and was cooperative with officers after the Dec. 3, 2011, accident. Police chose not to investigate the accident further, though two women, including Van Winkle, claimed afterward they suffered injuries in the wreck.

The accident happened when Suh was serving a two-game suspension for stomping on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith in the team's Thanksgiving Day game that season.

Van Winkle told the newspaper in an email that even though her lawsuit has been settled, she doesn't "feel like this is behind me." She said she still is suffering from back pain and has a scar on her face where she had to receive stitches.

"I feel like I've spent the last year of my life tied to multiple medical appointments each week, so I'm trying to focus on making small steps in my progress instead of finding a permanent solution," she wrote.

"Another reason I don't feel it's over is because I know he will continue to display this aggressive behavior, which is all he's done since the accident. When he kills someone or himself with his insane driving, I will be the first witness in line to share what I experienced."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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