Venus Williams’ attorneys will turn over her cellphone records to lawyers representing the family of a 78-year-old Florida man who died after a June car crash with the tennis star.
An agreement for the records was reached just before a Palm Beach County Court hearing in a lawsuit filed against Williams, the Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
Jerome Barson’s family sought the records to find out if Williams was on the phone and distracted just prior to the crash.
Lawyers for the 37-year-old tennis star said they will turn over phone records that span a two-and-a-half-hour period before and after the June 9 crash in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Her lawyers say Williams wasn’t distracted.
Venus Williams will turn over her cellphone records to attorneys representing the family of 78-year-old Jerome Barson who died after a June 9 car crash with the tennis star in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Williams is pictured in July
Williams was still in the middle of a Palm Beach Gardens intersection on June 9 when the light changed and Linda Barson (right) t-boned the tennis star’s car in a crash that killed her husband Jerome (left)
The Barsons’ Hyundai after the collision with Williams is pictured. The car was totaled
Barson died 13 days after police say Williams drove into the path of the sedan Barsons’ wife was driving. Williams hasn’t been cited or charged.
Palm Beach Gardens Police are still investigating the crash and officials have not determined who was at fault.
Barson’s attorneys filed a motion on July 28 requesting that a forensic expert examine Williams’ phone to determine what she may have been doing when the June 9 crash happened, the Palm Beach Post reports.
‘Evidence gathered thus far indicates (Williams) may have been distracted and or unnecessarily delayed in her reaction to applicable traffic signals and/or surrounding traffic,’ the motion reads.
Williams was still in the middle of a Palm Beach Gardens intersection on June 9 when the light changed and Linda Barson t-boned the tennis star’s car in a crash that killed her husband Jerome.
Palm Beach Gardens Police are still investigating the crash and officials have not determined who was at fault
In July, Williams opposed a ‘notice of production’, objecting to a motion that asked to see her cellphone records as part of the wrongful death lawsuit filed against her.
Barson’s lawyers have said security camera footage shows Williams moving her hand towards her face in the moments before the June 9 collision – and they want to know if she was using a cellphone.
Williams insists her signal was green when she turned into the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive, saying she couldn’t get clear of the intersection because of traffic.
The light turned while Williams was still in the intersection, and Linda Barson was driving a Hyundai Accent when it T-boned the tennis star.
Her husband, who was seated in the passenger seat, was taken to the hospital with internal bleeding and organ damage before he died two weeks later on his wife’s 68th birthday.
Lawyers for the 37-year-old tennis star (pictured in July) said they will turn over phone records that span a two-and-a-half-hour period before and after the crash
A police report initially said Williams was to blame for the crash because she turned left into the Barson’s path and that they had the legal right of way when they slammed into her.
But investigators later said she entered the intersection on a green light and was forced to stop because another car cut in front of her, according to security camera footage.
‘Venus Williams entered that intersection on a green light, her progress was impeded and she had the right by state law to get through the intersection,’ her lawyer Malcolm Cunningham said.
Williams’ attorneys also said Jerome Barson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash – a claim his lawyers disputed, arguing the car’s ‘black box’ showed both passengers had buckled up.
Williams’ lawyers maintain that she wasn’t distracted by her cellphone before the crash. She is pictured in January
The Wimbledon finalist is also claiming the Barsons failed to adequately maintain and repair their vehicle and blasts the extent of the plaintiff’s alleged permanent injury, scarring or disfigurement.
The lawsuit claims Linda Barson suffered a crack sternum, a shattered right arm, broken right wrist, hand, and fingers – which Venus is now demanding be stricken from the complaint due to them being ‘immaterial’ and ‘impertinent’ to the case.
According to court papers, Venus is now demanding the estate hand over all autopsy reports, death certificate, copies of marriage certificates, tax returns for past five years, life insurance policies, health insurance policies.
Meanwhile, the Barsons’ attorney Michael Steinger said data from Williams’ SUV shows she accelerated from 0 to 20mph in just four seconds.
Steingner told TMZ that he believes Venus ‘looked up, saw the red light and gunned it’ before being t-boned by the Barsons.