James Harden and a photographer, who alleges the Houston Rockets guard, broke his finger outside a Hollywood nightclub in 2016 were ordered by a judge this week to take part in a settlement conference prior to the scheduled June 27 trial of the plaintiff’s case.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura A. Seigle issued the order during a final status conference in David Flores’ lawsuit. The settlement conference is scheduled for June 24.
In his lawsuit filed in July 2017, Flores said he was trying to conduct a video interview with Harden outside a lounge in Hollywood about 2 a.m. on May 13, 2016. Harden “angrily smacked’’ Flores on the left hand while the plaintiff was holding a camera and asking the 2017-18 NBA MVP a question, breaking one of the photographer’s fingers, the suit alleges.
The complaint alleges negligence, assault and battery. On May 24, Flores dropped his claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Harden, a Los Angeles native, has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers have asked that video Flores says he has of the incident be excluded as evidence because the plaintiff has allegedly admitted to editing and “manipulating’’ the recording while also claiming to no longer have the original version.
The 29-year-old athlete’s lawyers also say their client should not have to submit any information on his assets unless the jury finds for Flores and says he is entitled to punitive damages.