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Old 05-06-06, 09:29 AM
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A.I. loses bid to give testimony in Philly

Posted: 1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AP) - Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson lost his bid Thursday to give testimony in Philadelphia instead of Washington in a lawsuit stemming from a fight in a nightclub in the capital last year.

U.S. Magistrate-Judge Deborah A. Robinson rejected complaints by Iverson's lawyers that the All-Star guard would have to get up early and hire a driver to bring him to Washington to give a deposition May 10.

Iverson's lawyer, Alan C. Milstein, told Robinson the star point guard could not take a train from Philadelphia to Washington because he would be recognized and mobbed by autograph seekers if he stood at a cab stand outside the station.

Two patrons and two security guards at the Eyebar club in Washington joined together in the suit last year. They allege that Iverson and members of his security detail assaulted them during a confrontation over seats in the bar early on July 20.

The suit alleges that the two Eyebar club security guards tried to move the patrons to another area in the VIP section when Iverson arrived with his entourage. The patrons did not want to move and a fight occurred that "cleared" the club, the suit said.

Iverson, who played college basketball at Georgetown University, allegedly hit one of the patrons with a bottle. The patron, Marlin Godfrey, alleges he suffered a concussion as well as injuries to his eardrum and right eye in the melee.

Milstein argued that requiring Iverson to travel to Washington would be an annoyance, undue burden and raise safety concerns for the player, who was not in court Thursday.

But Gregory L. Lattimer, a lawyer for the bar patrons and security guards, said Iverson would not attract so much attention if he did not travel with so many people. The lawyer said Iverson travels to Washington frequently because of his college connections in the city.

Lattimer also said the deposition is scheduled for midday on May 10, "not the crack of dawn."

Robinson accepted Lattimer's argument that Iverson, who makes $16.2 million a year, could more easily afford to pay to travel to Washington and should not force the plaintiffs, who earn far less money, to pay for their lawyers to go to Philadelphia.

She also ruled that the distance between the two cities was not too far for Iverson to travel.

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