Falsely Accused Browns Fans Files Lawsuit Against the Team

By Geoff Magliocchetti
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns might be taking yet another loss, this one coming in the form of legal damages.

Cleveland-based DJ Eric Smith has filed a lawsuit against the team for wrongly identifying him for an incident during the Browns' Week 1 game at FirstEnergy Stadium. In a report from ESPN's Jake Trotter, Smith's attorney Bruce Taubman said Smith has sought financial damages and has demanded a public apology from the Browns.

The situation stems from a Tennessee Titans touchdown scored on opening weekend. To put the finishing touches on a 43-13 victory, Malcom Butler took back an interception for a touchdown. Butler and several other Titan defenders leaped into the stands behind the end zone to celebrate. Among them was Logan Ryan, who was doused with beer by a Browns fan seated in the area.

Smith received a call the next day informing him he had been banned from attending Browns games at FirstEnergy Stadium. He was shocked by the call, as he claimed to have not attended a game in nearly a decade and was working at wedding during the game. An Instagram post from his company page may corroborate his alibi. Per Trotter, Smith says that the Browns privately apologized for the confusion, but he is now looking for public amends.

This isn't the first time a Browns fan has threatened to take the team to court. In 2011, a fan sough $25,000 in damages stemming from a potential NFL lockout, claiming such a situation called for a breach of contract when it came to personal seat licenses.

The team has yet to comment on the new developments in the situation.