A weird story involving T.J. Miller assaulting a taxi driver gets more light shed on it. A few days before hosting the Critics Choice Awards, the comedian had been arrested on charges of battery for assaulting a cab driver. Originally explained as resulting from fervent political differences (the driver was an ardent Trump supporter and wouldn’t let the discussion end), the story has now been codified by lawyers into the offensive argument that the cab driver was trying to extort his client and “saw nothing but dollar signs”.
The argument alleges, under the dirty hands doctrine, that the plaintiff should not receive equitable remedy because they are behaving unethically or has somehow acted in bad faith to their claim.
According papers filed on Miller’s behalf, the taxi driver, Wilson Deon Thomas III, is “no stranger to making up stories, creating fictitious injuries, seeking work restrictions and trying to hold others responsible by filing lawsuits against them”. The lawyer presents an established history of lawsuits claiming wrongful termination due to an ankle injury, which is remarkably similar to the case against Miller.
Regardless of the validity of that prior case, Miller’s lawyer’s defense confirms that Miller did have physical contact with the driver, although the lawyer disputes the ensuing injuries. It’s not an ideal defense or a feel good story, that Miller basically engaged in some kind of violent action, but that the plaintiff is overblowing it, whether or not it is legally sound.
Really the most conclusive thing we’ve learned from the situation is what T.J. stands for! Todd Joseph? Whodda thunk!