DOCUMENT: Sports, Crime

First NBA Brawl Lawsuits Filed

Two seeking damages from Pacers, Artest, Jackson, O'Neal, venue

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First NBA Brawl Lawsuits Filed

Ackerman Lawsuit

NOVEMBER 23--The first lawsuits stemming from last week's NBA fracas were filed today by two Detroit Pistons fans who claim that they suffered concussions at the hands of a rampaging trio of Indiana Pacers. In nearly identical Michigan Circuit Court complaints, John Ackerman, 67, and William Paulson, 26, each accused Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, and Stephen Jackson of assault and battery and negligence in connection with the November 19 melee at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Paulson specifically claims that he was first beaten by Artest and then set upon by Jackson. Ackerman alleges that O'Neal "invoked physical blows and punches" upon him. Below you'll find Paulson's complaint, while you can click here for Ackerman's lawsuit. Both men also named the Pacers Basketball Corporation as a defendant, claiming that the team failed to protect fans from its marauding athletes. Paulson's two-count complaint and Ackerman's three-count complaint each seek in excess of $25,000 per count (though we have a feeling the gents are looking for a bit more than $50,000 and $75,000 respectively). (7 pages)