Former NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins was allegedly drugged on the night of his death as part of a "blackmail and robbery conspiracy against him," according to a lawsuit filed by his family last month in Broward County, Florida, last month, ESPN reports.
Four individuals, two restaurants, a golf driving range and a hotel are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, as well as the driver of a dump struck that struck Haskins while he was crossing a South Florida highway, who is accused of "negligent acts" in relation to the quarterback's death on April 9, 2022.
Attorney Rick Ellshley, who is representing Haskins' family -- which includes his widow, Kalabrya, who is listed as the plaintiff and personal representative of his estate -- referred to the lawsuit as "an important step in the process of uncovering the complete truth about this tragedy."
"It is believed that Dwayne was targeted and drugged as part of a blackmail and robbery conspiracy," Ellshley said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "In fact, his highly-expensive watch was stolen from him shortly before his death."
A toxicology report concluded that Haskins was legally drunk at the time of his death, with separate samples taken from his body yielding .20 and .24 alcohol levels, far above the Florida legal limit of .08. The 24-year-old also tested positive for ketamine and norketamine, which are more commonly used as anesthetics by medical professionals but also recreational use. Haskins' cause death was officially ruled as multiple blunt force injuries and ruled as an accident with no charges filed as of Monday (April 10), one full year and one day later.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert -- who stepped down from his position after the 2022 NFL Draft -- confirmed the Steelers' plan to tender Haskins prior to his scheduled restricted free agency at the beginning of the 2022 offseason. Haskins was cut by the now-Washington Commanders after being demoted for the second time during the 2020 season in December 2020, 20 months after the franchise selected the former Ohio State standout at No. 15 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The former Ohio State standout signed with the Steelers in December 2020 and said he was looking to prove his love of football in 2021, playing behind veteran starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who praised the backup for having one of the "prettiest" throwing mechanics he's ever seen.
“I was just telling [new Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan] the other day that his release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I have ever seen,” Roethlisberger said of Haskins during offseason workouts via TribLIVE. “I told him I wish I had that. I joked that he could throw it through a car wash, and it wouldn’t get wet.”
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