A site called Fourth Estate is reporting that “sources” say Baltimore riot inspiration Freddie Gray had spinal surgery just one week before his arrest and subsequent death in police custody from spinal injuries, but documentation they provide as evidence appears to already have been debunked as unrelated.
I’ve never heard of Fourth Estate before today. They’ve apparently existed only since last November.
Fourth Estate provides documentation of an insurance settlement and says further information on Gray’s alleged pre-existing spinal injury will be compiled and released 6PM ET today.
Another site, JohnCardillo.com, says the records that Fourth Estate provides as proof are actually unrelated to Freddie Gray’s alleged spinal injuries and, in fact, involved a lawsuit against his former landlord.
The Cardillo clarification seems kind of definitive.
Quoting anonymous sources, they reported, quite definitively, that Freddie Gray sustained spinal injuries in an accident and had endured several unsuccessful spinal fusion surgeries. One just weeks prior to his arrest by Baltimore Police.
They wrote this: “The Fourth Estate has contacted sources who allege that Freddie Gray received spinal and neck surgery a week before we was arrested, and was allegedly receiving a large structured settlement from Allstate Insurance. The surgery is allegedly related to a car accident in which Gray was involved.”
None of this however is true. In my opinion, it was both highly unethical and irresponsible for The Fourth Estate to print that story.
An examination of court records reveals that Freddie Gray was not suing Allstate, but was in fact the defendant in a case where Peachtree Settlement Funding was the plaintiff and Allstate an interested party.
It is quite clear that this was litigation part and parcel to a settlement awarded the Gray family pursuant to their former landlord not properly removing lead paint from the home in which they lived.
I’ll be interested to see what Fourth Estate has to offer at 6PM and if it goes beyond this apparently unrelated lawsuit.