Lawsuit Alleging Assault Against Bears, Mario Edwards Jr. Voluntarily Dismissed

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 10:  Defensive end Mario Edwards #97 of the Chicago Bears exits the field after a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bears defeated the Raiders 20-9. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

A lawsuit against the Chicago Bears and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff last month, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

Joann Blakney filed the initial lawsuit last October in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, accusing Edwards of "assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress" stemming from an altercation at the Bears' team hotel in October 2020 before a game against the Carolina Panthers.

The lawsuit accused the Bears of "negligent supervision and defamation."

According to Kane, the team filed a motion to dismiss but the complaint was withdrawn before a hearing. Neither the team nor Edwards attempted to reach a settlement with Blakney.

Attorney Arcangela Mazzariello said the civil complaint could be refiled after dealing with Blakney's criminal charge of misdemeanor simple assault in court this week.

Both Blakney and Edwards were charged with assault after the incident, although Edwards has not been served with a summons since he has not returned to the state of North Carolina.

Edwards has denied the accusations.

"Mario Edwards doesn’t condone domestic violence. At no time did Mario Edwards do anything that raised to the level of domestic violence, or any violence," agent Peter Schaffer said in a statement to TMZ.

The NFL also investigated the incident but did not punish Edwards under the league's personal-conduct policy, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted. The 28-year-old was suspended for two games last year, but it was for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.

Edwards signed a three-year contract with Chicago before last season and appeared in 12 games in 2021, tallying two sacks.