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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns sued

By Edward Aschoff

Former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and linebacker Josh Johns are being sued in Baton Rouge civil court by four men who claim they were injured in the off-campus bar brawl that occurred last summer.

The plaintiffs are also seeking damages from the owner of Shady's bar, claiming negligence for failing to provide adequate security to prevent the fight in the parking lot.

Both Jefferson and Johns were suspended last season after the incident. Jefferson returned after four games and eventually led the Tigers to the Allstate BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. Johns, a reserve linebacker, played in nine games last year, mostly on special teams. He opted to leave the football program this spring.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Andrew Lowery, Cayne Cox, Eric Ewen and Jordan Wills, alleges that Jefferson and Johns are liable for injuries to Lowery, who claims he knew the players and that they beat and kicked him in the head and body after they exchanged words. The lawsuit said Lowery didn't know the other plaintiffs, but was trying to help one of them, who was allegedly beaten unconscious by several people "including several LSU football players."

While Jefferson was indicted on a misdemeanor charge last fall, Johns wasn't and his lawyer, Thomas Damico, said Johns was misidentified and wasn't ever involved in the brawl that left four men severely injured.

"The grand jury didn't find (Johns) involved at all and they had a lower burden of proof than a civil suit," Damico said. "They have no grounds whatsoever to even suggest he was involved in an altercation."

Still, the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Bienvenu, said he has all the evidence needed to back up the facts alleged in the lawsuit.

Lowery had a fractured facial bone, fractured teeth, a herniated disk and cuts and bruises, the lawsuit said, while Ewen suffered three fractured vertebrae, a herniated disk, fractured teeth and severe cuts to his head, face and body. Wills and Cox had numerous severe cuts and bruises to their heads, faces and bodies.

Bienvenu said he expects that with the information gathered from the two parties and independent witnesses, identities of more potential defendants in the case will emerge.

The brawl took place on the last night of LSU's fall camp, a night where players traditionally break curfew to celebrate together.