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Ex-Dolphins OL coach Turner suing Wells for defamation

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The Sports Xchange

Former Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner plans to file a defamation lawsuit against Ted Wells after losing his job for being implicated in the 2014 bullying scandal report.

Turner is filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Wells, the NFL’s lead investigator, and his law firm, Paul Weiss of New York, seeking damages for defamation, according to ESPN.com.

The Dolphins fired Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill after Wells’ report was released in February 2014 that detailed the actions of guard Richie Incognito and others that led to tackle Jonathan Martin walking away from the team in 2013.

Turner, who served as Miami’s offensive line coach for two seasons, believes that Wells’ report on the Dolphins negatively and perhaps permanently altered his ability to land another NFL coaching job.

In the lawsuit, Turner alleges that the NFL commissioned Wells and Paul Weiss to write a report that would placate the public and assign blame to certain individuals such as Turner, while the law firm was well-paid and well-positioned for future work on NFL cases such as the one that turned out to be Deflategate, according to ESPN.

Turner’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, believes that Turner was falsely accused of helping create an atmosphere that allowed bullying and harassment to happen.

Turner’s name appeared several times in the Wells report. According to the report, Turner tolerated and even participated in the harassment of Miami players, lied to investigators and repeatedly attempted to convince Martin to publicly defend Incognito.

Turner has ripped Wells in the past.

“Wells is not a good human being, and when I didn’t give him the stories he wanted, he targeted me as part of a problem in Miami,” Turner said in May. “He’s not an independent investigator, he’s not doing this looking at both sides of the situation, he’s hired by the NFL and he’s going to print the story that they want printed.”

Incognito, who has been given a second chance this season as a Buffalo Bills guard, called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s “absolute power” part of the problem with investigations.

Incognito said the NFL punishment system is “bogus” and there was nothing “independent” about Wells’ investigations of the Dolphins when he played there and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s alleged role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game in January.

Incognito told Newsday that Goodell’s unchecked power makes it unfair for players who are the subject of league investigations.

“I just think it’s bogus, the whole system in how it’s set up with Roger and the complete, absolute power he has,” Incognito told the newspaper. “He has so much power and he hires independent investigators who come in and are obviously not independent. They come in with an agenda and they come in looking to find facts to back up their argument. All the facts are slanted in their favor.

“Ted Wells came in with a mission against me. Ted Wells came in slanted against me and everything in his report was slanted against me. There were some things in there that would have helped my cause that were left out.”


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