A Pennsylvania jury sided with Plaxico Burress in a dispute over how much the New York Giants star should pay in damages for a car he borrowed. “It has nothing to do with how much money he makes,” Burress’ lawyer said. “It has to do with … what’s right.”
LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania jury sided with Plaxico Burress on Wednesday in a dispute over how much the New York Giants star should pay in damages for a car he borrowed that ended up getting impounded by New York City police.
The dealer who loaned the car to Burress sought $19,000, but a jury in Lebanon County civil court decided Burress will have to pay only $1,700 in damages, an amount that would seem minor to the millionaire star of last year’s Super Bowl.
“It has nothing to do with how much money he makes,” Burress’ lawyer said. “It has to do with … what’s right.”
During testimony, dealer Frederick Laurenzo and Burress delivered conflicting statements.
Laurenzo said he spoke with Burress on the telephone and that Burress understood that he was to make promotional appearances on behalf of the dealership in exchange for using a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. Burress also agreed that no one else would drive the truck, Laurenzo said.
Burress testified that he asked his agent to arrange a car for him in March 2005, when Burress was in New Jersey for his first Giants training camp after being traded by the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he said he knew of no obligations or conditions on his use of the vehicle, and never spoke with Laurenzo.
Several months later, New York City police seized the truck in connection with a shooting incident in which officers saw two men firing rounds from inside the truck on a Bronx street early on Aug. 20, 2005. It did not, however, appear that they were targeting anyone, police said.
Investigators contacted Burress, who came in with a lawyer more than two weeks later for questioning. Burress signed a statement saying he had loaned the car to a cousin, but that he had no knowledge of the incident and was at practice at the time of the shooting.
Laurenzo filed the breach-of-contract suit against Burress in September 2006 and it took him until January 2007 to get the truck back from police. During that time, the brakes rusted and the battery died.
The jury decided that Burress should pay the cost to repair the vehicle and the bill to tow it back to Laurenzo’s dealership. Laurenzo had sought additional money to cover interest and the vehicle’s depreciation.