The sheriff’s deputy of Alameda County, who was allegedly injured in a shoving match between him and Raptors President Masai Ujiri may have to repay the $142,000 to the county. Deputy Alan Strickland is currently in a federal lawsuit against the shoving match with Uriji. If Strickland wins, then the county would like repayment of the $142,000 in worker’s compensation he has received.
The county has been paying Strickland $142,984 and since the shoving match in June 2019. As of four months ago, he has not returned to back work. Last week, Alameda County filed a lien against Strickland.
NEW: County of Alameda files a $142K lien against the police officer who sued Raptors president Masai Ujiri for assaulting him during last year’s NBA Finals celebration. County seeks offset for amounts paid to officer as workers comp benefits claimed from same incident. pic.twitter.com/Ma4269glDT
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) July 2, 2020
According to insurance experts, this move by Alameda County is typical to happen as they try to recoup some payments. Alameda has been using taxpayer dollars to pay Strickland as it is a self-insured county.
After the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Championship at Golden State, Uriji was trying to head down to the floor to celebrate with the players. As he was on his way, Strickland stopped him before he could get down there because he didn’t show proper credentials.
Uriji and Strickland then exchanged words and shoved each other before Raptors players came over the Uriji’s defense to help him onto the floor, according to eyewitnesses. Cell phone videos and witnesses say there is no doubt the two shoved each other. However, the ruling is trying to figure out how hard of shoves they were.
Strickland sued Uriji in February of this year over the altercation. The lawsuit states that Ujiri struck Strickland in the face and chest with both fists as he attempted to reach the court.
On April 2, Uriji stated in a court filing that there “is a risk inherent in the occupation of a security guard.” Also, Uriji noted that he acted in self-defense in the same filing. Ujiri says the officer “assaulted him, forcefully shoving him once and then twice,” before pushing the officer back.
Masai Ujiri raises an affirmative defense I’ve never seen before. He asserts that a security guard’s assault claims are barred because getting shoved “is a risk inherent in the occupation of a security guard.” pic.twitter.com/KfTXpu2ZPI
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) April 3, 2020
Overall, the encounter was very brief between the two. No other physical altercations happened outside of the shoving between the men. Now, Strickland has been out of work because of the alleged forceful shoving by Ujiri. The lawsuit will most likely come down between how forceful the shoves were. If lawyers can determine the shove was forceful enough to keep Strickland out of work for a year, then he should win the legal battle.
If the court rules in favor of Strickland, then he has another challenge with the shoving altercation. He will then have to pay back the lien that Alameda County filed on him if he wins the court ruling. Right now, there is no telling what will happen with the lien if the court rules against Strickland.
What Happen’s to Masai Ujiri?
There is no telling what will happen to Ujiri from this case. The Raptors have made a statement about the lawsuit saying, “baseless and without merit.” Overall, Ujiri’s employer has his back in this case and could help in any way to make sure the court rules in his favor.
If Ujiri does lose the lawsuit, then he will most likely have to pay compensation for the altercation, which Toronto could help him out with if possible.
Ujiri will not lose his job over the altercation. There is enough video evidence to prove the altercation was not malicious, and an unfortunate situation for both parties to be involved. Also, Ujiri wants this lawsuit behind him as it is a headache for him to deal with instead of being able to operate the Raptors.
The lawsuit continues to be handled within the court, and will eventually reach a verdict. Until then, Ujiri will continue to fight it to make sure justice is achieved over the June 2019 situation.