Civil lawsuit from '04 Pistons-Pacers brawl dismissed

DETROIT -- A federal jury dismissed a civil lawsuit Thursday
by a man who claimed Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal
permanently injured him during the 2004 brawl between Pacers
players and Detroit Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Charles Haddad, 23, alleged O'Neal's punch to his head caused
him to suffer migraine headaches, memory loss, trouble sleeping,
inability to socialize, and aversion to bright lights and loud
The defense presented evidence that Haddad flew to Las Vegas the
day after the Nov. 19, 2004, brawl and had been a regular visitor
to the gambling mecca ever since.
The U.S. District Court jury determined that O'Neal did strike
Haddad but the punch was justified because O'Neal was acting to
protect his teammates.
Haddad was charged with violating a local ordinance against
entering a performance space. He pleaded no contest last year and
was sentenced to probation and community service.
Haddad's lawyer, Jason J. Thompson of Detroit, said his client
is considering an appeal.
"We're disappointed that Jermaine O'Neal gets away with this
punch,'' Thompson told the Detroit Free Press.
A message seeking comment was left Thursday evening for Steven
Potter, an Auburn Hills lawyer representing O'Neal and the Pacers.
Pacers spokesman David Benner said the team had no immediate