Plaintiff Settles Lawsuit Against 49ers Aldon Smith, Former 49ers Delanie Walker Over Party Shooting
SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — One of two men who filed suit against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and former 49er Delanie Walker alleging that he was shot and permanently injured at a unruly party at Smith’s home near San Jose in 2012 has settled his case with the pair.
Aaron Reyes reached an out-of-court settlement in his lawsuit against Smith and Walker, according to a notice filed Monday by Reyes’ attorney Steve Defilippis in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose.
Defilippis’ brief filing, which did not mention a monetary figure, stated that Smith’s part of the settlement “will not be fully consummated until October 15, 2014,” without explaining why.
The lawyer also requested the court cancel all further court dates on Reyes’ suit and put the case “on the dismissal calendar for the latter part of November of 2014.”
Defilippis, through an employee at his office in San Jose, declined to comment on the case.
Matthew Conant, Smith’s attorney based in Oakland, and David Kleczek, the Oakland-based attorney for Reyes’ co-plaintiff Ronndale Esporlas, did not return phone messages.
Jessie Ruiz, the San Jose attorney representing Walker, said that he would have to check with his client for permission to comment.
On Sept. 3, Reyes filed the suit against Smith and Walker alleging that he was shot in the thigh during a gun battle at the riotous party at Smith’s leased home in unincorporated Santa Clara County east of San Jose the night of June 29, 2012.
The suit requested damages in excess of $25,000, including previous and ongoing medical expenses, legal fees and compensation for lost earnings from Reyes’ occupation.
Esporlas, who was shot twice in the leg at the party, filed suit against Smith and Walker the same day as Reyes. A judge later combined their cases, but only Reyes has reached a settlement.
According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, hundreds of people attended the party at Smith’s residence in the 400 block of Higuera Highland Lane.
At one point, someone brandished a gun at a bartender and Smith sought to end the party, prosecutors said.
Smith went to the front of his home and told guests to leave the property. As he started to close his garage door, someone outside fired three shots, one into the garage and two into the door. Smith then went to the balcony of the home and fired a handgun into the air to get the crowd to leave.
Smith went downstairs, exited his garage and was stabbed and lightly wounded by Steven Raymond Burba, a 27-year-old suspected gang member later charged with assault with a deadly weapon and other weapons-related allegations, according to prosecutors.
After seeing Smith wounded, Walker took a .45-caliber handgun, went to the home’s front driveway and fired the gun into the air to get whoever shot at Smith’s home to flee.
But someone then returned fire at Walker, wounding Reyes and Esporlas, who were caught in the crossfire, according to prosecutors.
Both Reyes and Esporlas accused Smith of premises liability and negligence for the gunshot injuries they suffered.
They also sued Walker, who they said helped Smith organize the party and like Smith shot a firearm into the air before an unknown shooter or shooters fired and wounded the plaintiffs.
Smith, 24, a star linebacker for the 49ers, currently has two pending criminal cases against him in San Jose, one for three felony illegal weapons charges connected to the party incident and one for DUI. The cases will be back in court on Tuesday.
Also, on April 13, Smith was arrested on suspicion of a felony count of falsely reporting he had a bomb to a Transportation Security Administration agent at Los Angeles International Airport. He was released on $20,000 bail.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Thursday referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney for “misdemeanor consideration,” city spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
The city attorney’s office is only considering the offense as a misdemeanor, not as a more-serious felony, and Smith still has not been charged, Santiago said.
Walker, 29, a tight end, now plays for the Tennessee Titans.
Reyes said in his lawsuit that Smith and Walker engaged in “despicable conduct” and failed to provide security or screen people admitted to the party, including street gang members “who made their affiliation known in an open and notorious manner.”
The suit claimed that Smith hosted the party that he and Walker advertised on the Internet and elsewhere, charged an entry fee to the partygoers and served alcoholic drinks, including one called “Jungle Juice.”
Reyes attended the party “in good faith, with no knowledge of the potential for violence by others” and was never informed by the defendants about the dangers or that they owned firearms, the lawsuit states.
The suit alleged that at some point, the party got out of control due to the use of alcohol and drugs in Smith’s home and the defendants becoming intoxicated.
Smith and Walker attempted to end the “very crowded, loud, rowdy and boisterous” party, by going on a balcony, brandishing firearms and then “illegally discharging rounds in the air” and should have known it was “likely to and did provoke others to return gunfire,” according to the suit.
Reyes’ wound to his thigh caused “severe and permanent catastrophic injuries,” including nerve damage, according to the suit.
After the plaintiff was wounded, neither defendant called 911 to request medical assistance or police, Reyes’ suit states.