[UPDATED with Anaheim Ducks Win One!] Is GM Bob Murray Getting Jobbed in Detroit?
See update at the end of this post on the Anaheim Ducks GM's court victory.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 15, 9:59 A.M.: Testifying in her federal lawsuit against Bob Murray, Rachel Paris recalled with vivid detail Tuesday how the Anaheim Ducks general manager violently assaulted her with a bar stool in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on May 14, 2009.
The thing is, Murray and two assistants with him at the time--Maureen Nyeholt and Ryan Lichtenfels--totally remember the "accident" differently.
Paris, who is suing for $75,000, claims she suffered headaches, back problems, chipped teeth, bloody urination and a debilitating shoulder injury and that she lost her job, car and house because of the "assault."
The 55-year-old Michigan resident was a stage manager with a media company covering Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings, who won on Dan Cleary's game-winning goal.
The chair apparently flew amid bad mojo in the press box. Paris, breaking normal media decorum, cheered enthusiastically for her Red Wings as replays showed Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller's pad was shoved over the line.
Murray, 54, claims the chair flew accidentally and that he made good with Paris three years ago, while she maintains it was no accident and the incident cost her more than she was previously compensated.
Among Paris' allegations is she was let go because her unnamed company was afraid of losing its broadcasting contract with the Red Wings.
The defense for Murray, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Ducks in February 2011, also counters Paris is now exaggerating. They have video evidence of her carrying groceries for three miles and lifting a 2.5 gallon gas can with a left shoulder she claims has been permanently messed up by torn torn cartilage, Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski reports.
Anaheim Calling's Jen Neale, who has been covering the case since the lawsuit was filed two years ago, also notes Paris declined medical treatment at the time, settling for an ice pack provided by Joe Louis Arena personnel. Her lawyers now claim her injuries required surgery.
Detroit Police investigated and concluded no charges were warranted.
Sums up Murray's lawyer Steven Potter to the Detroit Free Press' David Ashenfelter: "We're confident that the jury will make the right decision after they hear all of the evidence."
UPDATE, AUG. 22, 8:45 A.M.: After hearing five days of testimony and deliberating for just 45 minutes, the Detroit jury in the federal lawsuit against Anaheim Ducks General Manager Bob Murray concluded he did not assault Rachel Paris at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on May 14, 2009.
It was, jurors found, an unfortunate accident and no monetary damages were awarded. Some jurors questioned by the media afterward they wished they could have Paris compensated for the injuries she claimed to have suffered, but to do so they would have had to find Murray intentionally hurt her, based on the way the suit was filed.
Paris' attorneys blamed her previous counsel, who failed to include a negligence count in the original filing last year, something that is normally routine in such cases.
Murray's lawyer Steven Potter reacted (via the Detroit Free Press) by saying, "I predicted that the jury would make the right decision, and they did."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts