Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha has come to a settlement agreement with five New York City police officers he sued, claiming false arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.
The New York City Law Department confirmed the $4 million settlement for Sefolosha.
“This settlement is not a concession that Mr. Sefolosha was blameless in this matter and there was no admission of liability by the defendants, but in light of the gravity of his injuries, the potential impact on his career as a professional athlete and the challenge for a jury in sorting out the facts in this incident, the resolution of the case was in the best interests of the city,” the NYCLD said in a statement, according to multiple media outlets.
TMZ was first to report the deal.
Sefolosha’s notice of claim, filed last year, set $50 million as the ceiling for which he could be compensated for both material and punitive damages.
The suit stemmed from an incident on April 8, 2015, outside the Manhattan nightclub 1 Oak, where Sefolosha and Hawks teammate Pero Antic were arrested. Officers claimed the pair were interfering with a crime scene, the place where Chris Copeland, then with the Indiana Pacers, was stabbed in a separate incident.
Sefolosha suffered a broken fibula and ligament damage during his arrest, and he missed the remainder of the regular season and the Hawks’ playoff run to the conference finals.
In October 2015, a jury acquitted Sefolosha of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Despite being offered a plea deal that would have dismissed the charges in exchange for a day of community service, Sefolosha opted for a trial to clear his name.
“I’m glad this matter is resolved,” Sefolosha’s attorney, Alex Spiro, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Information from ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz was used in this report.