NBA star Allen Iverson must pay $260,000 for standing idly by and watching his bodyguard beat up another man in a 2005 bar fight, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
rejected the Detroit Pistons guard's attempt to throw out the
verdict decided by a jury in 2007.
Bar patron Marlin Godfrey accused Iverson's bodyguard, Jason
Kane, of punching, kicking and hitting him with a bottle because he
refused to vacate the VIP section at Washington club Eyebar to make
way for the basketball star and his entourage. Godfrey suffered a
concussion, a ruptured eardrum, a burst blood vessel in his eye, a
torn rotator cuff, cuts and bruises, and emotional injuries.
A three-judge appeals court panel wrote that Iverson stayed out
of the fray in the back corner of the VIP area, standing on a couch
or bench and observing.
"The evidence in this case supported the jury's finding that
Kane attacked Godfrey in a fight that lasted several minutes, and
that Iverson stood and watched without attempting to do anything to
stop the beating," the decision said.
Godfrey and another patron, David Anthony Kittrell, sued Iverson
for $20 million, but the jury decided not to award punitive damages
and only compensate Godfrey $10,000 for his medical bills and
$250,000 for pain and suffering. The jury did not find either of
the men liable for assaulting Kittrell.