US court upholds award against NBA star Iverson

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.

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