Update June 12, 2019 – This week MMAJunkie reports that this lawsuit has been dismissed.
As first reported by TMZ UFC Middleweight champion Micheal Bisping is being sued along with a host of other defendants for an alleged assault involving a 19 year old Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff alleges that after he accidentally used weights that Bisping was still using at a fitness facility the UFC Champion yelled at the Plaintiff calling him a punk and an idiot. The Plaintiff alleges that Bisping then “became physically violent by fully extending his right arm to grab Plaintiff by the throat and proceeded to squeeze Plaintiff’s neck for two to three seconds not allowing Plaintiff to move or breathe“.
The Plaintiff states the incident led to “intense throat pain” and “nightmares, difficulty sleeping and anxiety“.
The Plaintiff’s causes of action include
- False Imprisonment
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
The Plaintiff went on to sue the UFC (a non legal entity not capable of being sued) along with Zuffa (the legal entity that actually owns the UFC), WME-IMG (the legal entity that owns Zuffa) and 24 Hour Fitness USA.
The Plaintiff argues the principles of vicarious liability, negligent supervision and negligence-premises liability come into play extending liability to these entities.
The claim against the UFC is bound to fail.
The claims against WME-IMG and Zuffa are legally thin to put it charitably. It is suggested that the UFC and its owners are liable because Bisping is an employee and “was acting within the scope of his employment because working out at a fitness gym is reasonably related to the kinds of tasks that Bisping was employed to perform for his employers“.
It is also suggested that the UFC were negligent by hiring or continuing to employ Bisping because he “became unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired to do as an MMA championship fighter…because he has a high tendency to engage in violent physical activity and cannot control his tendency to engage in violent physical activity“.
It is also difficult to see how 24 Hour Fitness can bear any liability as the plaintiff suggests management promptly intervened. The Plaintiff argues that he should have been warned that “Bisping was a dangerous, violent physical patron of 24 HOUR fitness that comes to the property on a regular basis to train and workout at the fitness gym. Bisping can cause serious physical injury and/or death with just hands and feet. 24 HOUR could prevent or protect the risk of serious physical injury or death with the use of additional security features, such as video cameras or more staff in the workout areas“.
As between Bisping and the Plaintiff there undoubtedly is video evidence of the incident along with witness accounts which will prove persuasive in establishing how serious the alleged altercation was and whether liability will follow.
At a quick glance, however, the Complaint for Damages leaves the impression that whatever occurred any physical harm is minimal. When describing physical injury all that is mentioned is “intense throat pain“. No specific injury diagnosis is made. On the emotional side the pleadings lay it on thick with allegations of “severe emotional distress including suffering, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation and shame“.
The full pleadings can be found here h/t Marc Raimondi –