WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court upheld yesterday a jury award of $260,000 against four-time NBA scoring champion Allen Iverson and his bodyguard to a man injured in a 2005 brawl at a Washington, D.C., nightclub.
Marlin Godfrey, a patron at the Eyebar nightclub, sued bodyguard Jason Kane for assault and battery and Iverson for negligent supervision of Kane.
Godfrey suffered a concussion, a ruptured eardrum, a burst blood vessel in his eye, a torn rotator cuff, various cuts and bruises and emotional injuries, according to the seven-page ruling by the appeals court.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court unanimously rejected the argument by lawyers for Iverson, a Detroit Pistons guard, that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the verdict against him for negligent supervision.
After a six-day trial, a jury in 2007 awarded Godfrey $250,000 for pain and suffering and $10,000 for medical expenses.
The fight broke out when Kane and another man who sometimes acted as Iverson’s bodyguard ordered Godfrey and his party to leave the club’s small VIP area to make room for Iverson and his friends. Witnesses testified that Kane punched, kicked and struck Godfrey in the head with a bottle.
“Iverson stayed out of the fray in the back corner of the VIP area, standing on a couch or bench and observing. He did not say or do anything to try to stop Kane or anyone else from fighting. There was no evidence that any of the club’s patrons or employees attacked or threatened Iverson,” according to the ruling.