According to ESPN's Jake Trotter, Eric Smith filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Smith's attorney, Bruce Taubman, confirmed that his client is seeking "public retraction," and financial damages as a result of the accusation.
The incident occurred during the Week 1 contest when Ryan leaped into the stands when celebrating teammate Malcolm Butler's 38-yard pick six in the fourth quarter. While Ryan was in the stands, a fan reportedly dumped a beer on Ryan and the Browns believed Smith was the guilty party.
Following the incident, Smith was banned from FirstEnergy Stadium. However, Smith claimed that he was serving as a DJ at a wedding on that Sunday afternoon and hadn't attended a game since 2010.
"We believe we have identified the person involved," the Browns said in the days following the incident "He will ultimately face an indefinite ban from FirstEnergy Stadium for the unacceptable behavior."
According to John Caniglia Cleveland.com, Browns executive Bob Sivik called Smith at work following the incident and the lawsuit states that Sivik was "rude, short and dismissive and was clearly on a mission to resolve this bad press for the Cleveland Browns and nonetheless told [Smith] that he was a liar, had been identified by video surveillance tapes and was banned from FirstEnergy Stadium.''
Coworkers that overheard the conversation claimed that Smith suffered a panic attack shortly after. The suit also claims Browns senior vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste later reached out to Smith and apologized, saying "Our intent was to act swiftly and decisively. Unfortunately, we didn't do enough homework."
The Brown have declined to make a public comment since Smith filed the lawsuit.