After Filing Bankruptcy, Shilo Sanders Seeks to Overturn $11.89M Assault Judgment with Latest Legal Move

Earlier this year, Shilo Sanders, the Colorado Buffaloes safety and son of coach Deion Sanders, filed for bankruptcy to eliminate an $11.89 million judgment against him stemming from an alleged assault from 2015. Now, since the bankruptcy has caused more than a few questions about Sanders’ income, his lawyers have taken another route. They are trying to get the judgment overturned.

shilo sanders
Photo via Instagram, @shilosanders

Shilo’s Latest Legal Move

At trial in 2022, Sanders did not appear so the court found him liable by default for assault and battery, awarding Darjean $11.89 million in damages, as reported by Bleacher Report.

In 2016, John Darjean, a security guard at Focus Academies, filed a lawsuit against Sanders, alleging assault during a 2015 altercation. Sanders, then in high school, allegedly elbowed and hit Darjean, causing severe and permanent injuries, including a broken neck, cervical spine damage, permanent neurological injuries, and irreversible incontinence, On3 reported. 

In Sanders’ February response to Darjean’s filing, he argued that he acted in self-defense. According to Westwood, Sanders claims Darjean’s own actions precipitated the incident, rendering the claim for damages unjustifiable.

Sanders’ legal team has escalated the defense by filing a motion for summary judgment, seeking to dismiss Darjean’s claim outright. 

On May 22, Darjean’s attorneys requested additional time to respond to this motion. Should Sanders’ motion be approved, it could effectively nullify Darjean’s ability to collect the awarded damages from the Texas judgment. 

Can Sanders Afford to Pay a $12 Million Judgement?

Although the bankruptcy was filed on Dec. 19, 2023, documents revealed by Sports Illustrated on May 25 show Sanders possesses $477,881 in assets in October 2023, including $300,000 in a Robinhood account and $8,000 in a Wells Fargo account.

What was listed as far as assets was a Mercedes GLE AMG 635 valued at $75,000. The filings also indicate undeclared high-end assets, such as luxury clothing and accessories, which are showcased on his social media but not listed in the bankruptcy schedules.

These assets exclude any mention of NIL earnings, which has raised questions. Darjean’s legal team wants to know how much does Sanders makes in NIL deals, and so does the bankruptcy court.

Without his NIL deals, the value of Sanders’ assets has since been readjusted to $320,477.10, a decrease of $150,000 between October and December 2023, reported by Bleacher Report.

For Sanders, who has endorsement deals with major brands like Google, Starz, KFC, TurboTax, Oikos (for a Super Bowl ad), and EA Sports video games, plaintiffs allege that his NIL value and earnings are likely being funneled through two LLCs—Big 21 LLC and SS21 LLC—which were listed in the bankruptcy filing but with unknown values, according to On3.

What Prompted the Lawsuit

In 2015, Shilo Sanders, then a student at Triple A Academy in Dallas — the high school branch of the Focus Academies charter school — allegedly assaulted security guard John Darjean after being sent to in-school suspension for violating the no-phone policy.

Darjean’s lawyers told the court, Sanders’ father, Deion, who was football coach at Triple A, instructed Darjean by phone to confiscate Shilo’s phone. The led to, according to Darjean, to a physical altercation where Shilo reportedly caused severe injuries to the security guard — a broken neck, spinal damage, and neurological issues.

Shilo, who was 15 years old at the time of the incident, admitted to the altercation in bankruptcy court but claimed self-defense, saying the judgment should be overturned. He also denying Deion’s involvement in the phone confiscation. Court papers do not appear to include any official statements from Deion.

Despite the serious allegations, no criminal charges were filed, as reported by TMZ. In 2016, Darjean sued Shilo, around 16 at that time. After years of legal wrangling, in 2022 Darjean was awarded an $11.89 million judgment against Sanders. 

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