As attorney Ted Wells has become a focal point in one NFL saga, he is being called to answer for his first report for the NFL last year on the Miami Dolphins' bullying and harassment scandal.
Former Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner, who was fired by the Dolphins after his actions were questioned in the first Wells report in February 2014, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Wells and his law firm, Paul Weiss of New York, seeking damages for defamation.
Turner, who thinks his reputation and career have been unfairly affected, believes that Wells' report on the Dolphins negatively and perhaps permanently altered his ability to land another NFL coaching job.
The first Wells report focused mainly on the relationship between former Dolphins offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, and the culture in which they worked.
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.
Turner's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, believes that Wells and Weiss failed to include significant testimony from former and current Dolphins coaches and players in the report, opting instead to blame the events on, among others, Turner.
Ginsberg also believes that Turner was falsely accused of helping create an atmosphere that allowed bullying and harassment to happen and, even though Wells knew the accusations were not true, he included them in the report anyway, damaging Turner's reputation and inflicting emotional distress, pain and suffering.
Incognito told Newsday that Wells left out information that could have helped his case in the published report. Asked for specifics on what was left out of Wells' report in his case, Incognito said: "Teammate testimony, stuff like that."
The Dolphins wound up firing Turner for what they thought was his role in the bullying scandal that Wells documented.
This case will call into question whether Wells truly was working as an independent investigator, an issue that has come up in connection to the New England Patriots' Deflategate case as well.