Thabo Sefolosha will file a civil lawsuit against New York City, its police department and the officers involved for injuries suffered during his arrest outside a Manhattan night club in April, the Hawks guard/forward told ESPN Monday.
“There is a lot of unknown about how this will affect me two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now,” Sefolosha said in the television interview. “Also because I think it’s the right approach to put lights on a situation like this and be able to fight back in a legal way and in a way that can empower, hopefully.”
Sefolosha suffered a broken right leg and ligament damage to his ankle during his arrest in the early morning hours of April 7 outside the night club 1Oak. He missed the rest of the regular season and playoffs following season-ending surgery. Sefolosha faced three misdemeanor counts, alleging that he disobeyed orders to move away from a crime scene and then resisted arrest. After declining a plea bargain, Sefolosha was acquitted of all the charges in a weeklong trial that concluded earlier this month.
Sefolosha filed a notice of claim with the New York City comptroller several months ago of his intention to file a $50 million suit. On Wednesday, Sefolosha told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the paperwork was filed on the advice of his legal counsel as a matter of procedure in case he decided to bring action in the future. He said at the time that he had not yet decided whether he would file the suit.
According to the notice of claim, Sefolosha suffered physical damages that are “permanent in nature and continuing into the future.”
Sefolosha was cleared for all basketball activities by the start of training camp last month. He has played in four of the Hawks’ exhibition games, missing the first two because of the trial. Sefolosha said his rehabilitation is an ongoing process and he is still not 100 percent recovered.
In the brief interview, Sefolosha did not reveal how much he will seek in the lawsuit. The full interview will air on Thursday.