The basketball star was a face of a June 2022 FTX commercial, at the time saying he was “all in” on the now-failed crypto exchange – which led him to a class-action lawsuit.
Lawyers for NBA star Shaquille O’Neal are trying to get his FTX lawsuit dismissed, claiming that two process servers inadequately delivered legal documents.
The legal documents were made regarding O’Neal’s past endorsement for FTX, and had been inadequately served after previous failed attempts.
The legal team wrote in the court filing: “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.”
A May 8 filing for United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida writes that after “a failed motion to serve” O’Neal, two process servers “tossed” papers for a legal complaint in front of the NBA star’s moving car. The legal team also wrote in the filing that O’Neal did not stop to pick up the papers, instead leaving them abandoned.
“This purported ‘service’ is inadequate under Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Georgia law,” said the filing. “It should be quashed, and the claims against Mr. O’Neal dismissed.”
O’Neal was amongst the many high-profile figures who was part of failed crypto exchange FTX’s campaign before its bankruptcy filing in November 2022.
One FTX commercial featured the NBA star saying that he was “all in” for the crypto exchange. Upon FTX’s collapse, while on the brink of facing potential legal action, O’Neal reportedly called himself “just a paid spokesperson” for the now-failed firm.
We couldn't keep it secret any longer! We're partnering with…the one…the only…@SHAQ! (a.k.a. Shaqtoshi) pic.twitter.com/V37UQ5wsXI
— FTX (@FTX_Official) June 1, 2022
Last November, law firm Moskowitz filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Edwin Garrison and other FTX investors against the myriad of public figures for promoting the crypto exchange. A few months later in March, the same firm filed another similar lawsuit, this time targeting crypto influencers like YouTuber BitBoy Crypto – or Ben Armstrong, alleging that he promoted FTX’s “crypto fraud without disclosing compensation.”
Moskowitz is a law firm focusing on class action litigation law that received authorization from the court to serve other individuals connected to the lawsuits involving the promotion of FTX.
On April 16, Moskowitz reported that O’Neal had been served the legal complaint outside his residence after several unsuccessful attempts at delivery. However, the law firm did not mention the specifics of how the documents were delivered to the NBA star – whether they were thrown, or not.
“As Mr. O’Neal — who never exited his car — drove past the strangers lurking outside his home, one of the process servers ‘tossed the legal documents at the front of’ his car,” said the May 8 filing. “When the documents hit the car, which was moving ‘at a high rate of speed,’ the documents ‘f[e]ll onto the road,’ and the process servers ‘l[e]ft the legal documents on the road where they landed’ — that is, on the public road.”
The filing from O’Neal’s lawyers says that this alleged method of serving legal documents was inadequate, being “insufficient under Georgia law”:
“Throwing papers at a moving car and leaving them unattended on a public highway ‘is not good tender as it provides no way of knowing whether the papers landed in physical proximity to’ Mr. O’Neal.”
A report from Bloomberg notes that after dozens of failed attempts to have the legal documents reach O’Neal, lawyers had attempted to serve him with webpage links sent to the basketball star’s social media accounts. However, the judge presiding the case did not allow the method.