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Legal papers may have finally been served to Shaquille O’Neal in April over his involvement in promoting FTX, but the saga is not over yet.
Lawyers for the former NBA star have now disputed the legitimacy of how the papers were delivered to O’Neal, saying they were thrown at his car, and landed on a public road.
It represents another potential delay for lawyers at the Moskowitz Law Firm, who said last month they had tried repeatedly to serve O’Neal the papers in person but claimed the ex-NBA star and TV personality had been “running” from them.
"It is really disappointing and surreal. The video will show Mr. O’Neal finally being served, after many months of hiding, as he attempts to possibly injure the process server," Adam Moskowitz of Moskowitz Law Firm told Decrypt. "We expected better from an officer of the law. Mr. O’Neal and his lawyers need to stop running and finally deal with the serious allegations."
O’Neal is one of several celebrities named in a class action brought by Moskowitz on behalf of FTX investors, targeting both Sam Bankman-Fried and a list of the collapsed exchange’s promoters.
Shaq was ‘not evading’ papers
While the likes of Larry David, Tom Brady, and Naomi Osaka were also named in the suit, O’Neal remained up until recently the only defendant not to have been served with papers. In addition to waiting outside his homes and workplace, lawyers tried to complete the process electronically, but this was rejected by a judge.
The issue finally appeared to be resolved last month when the Moskowitz Law Firm said it had been able to serve O’Neal outside his Atlanta home, and that the star’s own home security system would have recorded the incident.
However, legal representatives for the basketball legend said in a filing on Monday that chucking the papers at their client’s car did not count, and that the plaintiffs had therefore missed their deadline.
They argued that the judge should therefore dismiss the case against O’Neal.
They also denied that O’Neal had been running from the legal documents, saying that the plaintiffs had had multiple opportunities to serve them.
“Mr. O’Neal has not evaded service by failing to be at the residences where plaintiffs belatedly attempted service or by driving past strangers who approached his car,” they said, according to Bloomberg.