Here is the resolution to this issue:
The root cause was someone had copied and pasted HTML code into Description and Dev comments field. We finally narrowed it down to a specific defect based on what filters were cause ALM to stop
Also, you need to set the ''Sanitization Type'' to ''Text'' as shown in the following:
working turned out it was Deployment 31-Aug-17, Severity 3, Status new . That narrowed it down to a small enough number of defects that we were able to find the exact one causing the issue. To fix it we ran and update on those 2 fields in the database to remove the HTML this resolved the issue.