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Kobe settles case where fan said he was “assaulted” during game

Aug 27, 2012, 2:56 PM EDT


In 2005, insurance agent Bill Geeslin had the seats we all dream of for a game — courtside. It was Nov. 14 and his Memphis Grizzlies were playing (and would beat) Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

During the game Kobe chased and dove for a ball going out of bounds and he landed on Geeslin, something we’ve seen a hundred times before and since. The kind of hustle we applaud in athletes.

But Geeslin sued Kobe, saying he was assaulted and was left with a bruised lung cavity due to Kobe giving him an intentional forearm. He wanted in excess of $75,000 in the suit and said at deposition he “felt like a human punching bag.” I would say he felt like a greedy punching bag, but that’s just me. And when he passed away two months later (for causes not related to the incident) his estate continued the lawsuit.

Which a judge threw out at summary judgment saying no reasonable juror could say this was on Kobe. We thought that was the end of it. Reasonable minds prevail. Yea for American legal justice.

Ahh, but there is an appeal process. An reasonable minds do not always win in court. The Memphis Commercial Appeal and  Ball Don’t Lie picked up the story there and said that while the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said that claims of Geeslin’s emotional distress should be tossed, the claims of assault should get a second look. And so that part of the trial was going forward.

And so, it was set to go to jury selection this week. Seriously.

So Kobe settled to make the thing go away. We don’t know if it was the full $75,000, but the smart bet is it was close.

So to be clear, seven years of time for judges and lawyers because Kobe went after a ball out of bounds and didn’t kiss the guy’s a** afterwards. God bless America and our legal system.

Not to be insensitive to the dead, but as Straight outta Vancouver said so well, you sit in the front row of a game you take on the risk. We want our players to hustle after balls and entertain us by working hard, you sit in the front row you paid a premium to be close to the sweat and the effort and the stars. That comes with the risk that a large athlete moving fast may run into you, spill your beer and knock you over. Deal with it.

By the way, McDonald’s coffee is hot and if you hide out and jump in a tank of killer whales at SeaWorld after hours you might die. And that is your fault, too.

  1. rilla77 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    That’s some bulls–t that people can get away with s–t like this. He should be banned from all games.

    • thejjtrain - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      I think his death kinda already did that.

    • 28loose - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Read the story – the guy’s dead. His estate finished the lawsuit.

    • cosanostra71 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Mother Nature already banned him from all games.

      • drunkenjunk - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        lmao, priceless

  2. BigBeachBall - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    how did they get bill geesin to appear in court?

  3. holdup08 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I agree with you about how ludicrous this situation is, but look into that McDonald’s coffee story more. The cup melted in the lap of an old woman giving her third degree burns in her nether region. The melted cup residue sort of burnt into her skin. McDonald’s argued it was a statistically insignificant incident despite how horrifying it was. The woman could no longer live independently.

  4. bougin89 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    “By the way, McDonald’s coffee is hot and if you hide out and jump in a tank of killer whales at SeaWorld after hours you might die. And that is your fault, too.”

    Awesome, I agree this is ridiculous.

    • sun602 - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      I understand the reason you used the reference, but the woman who sued McDonald’s won because the coffee that spilled gave her third degree burns down to the bone- coffee that was so hot it was undrinkable. Not only that, McDonald’s was sued a few times before that for having faulty tops on the cups.

      Again, I understand the reference, but the woman who got burned had a legit case- which is why she won.

      • thraiderskin - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        Very good, glad someone understands what happened in that suit.

      • areyou4sure - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:42 AM

        Wasn’t the coffee between her legs? I would never put something that hot and known for having faulty lids that close to my nads. Just saying…

  5. timb12 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    I hope this doesn’t give anyone ideas. Or else the city of Cleveland will make Lebron file for bankruptcy thanks to all the “pain and suffering” he caused them. But seriously, to say Kobe’s elbow was intentional is ridiculous. He’s playing a game. I’m sure he got sweat on the guy on purpose too.

  6. thevza - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    That you offer so much of your speculation and personal opinion in this article is disappointing, Kurt. I’m not taking anyone’s side in this matter, but who’s to say Geeslin was a “greedy punching bag” as you so unabashedly put it? Maybe he did get legitimately injured from Kobe’s contact, maybe he didn’t. But that is for the same legal system that you praised to decide- not you. You were not there, and you weren’t involved. Neither was I. The difference is, I am not making any foregone conclusions or assumptions on the matter.

  7. cosanostra71 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    this could be the most ridiculous lawsuit I’ve ever heard of

    • money2long - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      eh..this story may be 2nd to that mcdonald’s coffee lawsuit.

  8. nokoolaidcowboy - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I’m suing the NY Knicks for ruining a sport that enjoyed in the past. Expect some papers Mr. Dolan!

    • areyou4sure - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:51 AM

      I’m gonna sue the porn industry for getting me addicted to masturbating. And pain and suffering too. If I see a hot chick on the street, I get this huge boner and it just kills me that I can’t just reach down there and relieve myself…

  9. illadelphiasphinest - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Only in the USA! N this one is right up there with the woman who is suing a little leaguer because she was hit in the head with a stray throw. Also up there with the woman suing the Philly Phanatic for accidently pushing her into a pool. As she claims she is suffering from sever n permanent head, neck, back, arm, leg, shoulder, bone, muscle, ligament, and tissue damage. No BS either. N yes there was water in the pool.

    • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 12:01 AM

      If the Phillies hire a crazy man to put on a suit the size of 5 average sized human beings, then pay him to run up and down the aisles of a highly crowded venue that they own and operate, they need to be responsible when this marketing plan accidentally injures someone. If it was your mom who got unnecessarily run over by a 7 foot tall, 5 foot wide 300 pound costumed man, would it still be frivalous?

      • illadelphiasphinest - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Did you read the list of injuries she is suing for accidently being bumped into a pool that had water in it? And this wasn’t at the stadium it was at a private event, at a hotel or country club. Not exactly a highly crowded aisle of a stadium which somehow has a pool in it…. And no my mother, sister, or wife is not money hungry and sue happy enough to sue for such overblown and completely unrealistic injuries. The two thumbs down are obviously from money hungry sue happy people who are looking for a free buck.

  10. rgledz - Aug 27, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    @sun602….you are exactly right. McDonald’s had been sued hundreds of times for the coffee being ridiculously hot and for the faulty cover and did nothing to change it. That was fully legit. That is a sad story for the woman that was burned.

  11. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The coffee suit was legit. I have made a habit of pressing the lid down tight when I buy a cup of coffee from McD’s. What about the phatty that sued them for his phat butt getting phat?!! As if Ronald McD personally stuffed all those Big Macs and delicious fries down his throat!!

  12. fordmandalay - Aug 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Great, now that this case has set a precedent, expect 50,000 lawsuits all claiming the same, or the NBA setting all seats behind a wall and glass like hockey. They’ll have no choice.

  13. paulhargis53 - Aug 27, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Lakersucker knows A LOT about getting “big macs” stuffed down his throat….PURPLE AND GOLD ones…..

    • ocgunslinger - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      @paulhardass. I’ve read some of your posts….unfortunately because they never really add any quality to the discussion and if you’re attempting humor….well you had better not give up your day job.

  14. lakerluver - Aug 27, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Wow, dude, really?!……My dad always told me to watch out for guys like you who make “those” kind of remarks. He’s usually trying to hide something about himself. Really, can we keep it to sports? I guess when you don’t have anything “knowledgable” to add to the discussion about sports you resort to homophobic stupidity.

  15. paulhargis53 - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I’m not homophobic in the least. I’m also not homosexual. I’m not the one who said they “love large black purple and gold men” either. Not that there is anything wrong with that…

    The problem with trying to talk sports with an inane doofus likee you is this:

    You are too over the top and non objective to have an intelligent conversation with. Youre homeristic viewpoints are laughable. You refuse to see anyone else’s point of view.

    So, I choose to help you look more stupid than you already do. It’s a simple pleasure and a time passer for me.
    If you were.t so weak minded, you’d just ignore me, but you can’t. What a simple person you are…

  16. loungefly74 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    hmmm…died a couple months later? can someone say “Karma!”

  17. tibbs7 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Gotta love lawyers and how everyone (not just Kobe) pays for this legal system.

  18. phillyrox - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    This is a ridiculous lawsuit, with that said, Kobe Bryant should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

  19. shzastl - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Apparently you didn’t read the article Kurt. The man claims Kobe intentionally shoved him when getting up because he was frustrated he was losing. Very plausible that Kobe would do something like that, just like he dropped a homophobic slur when he lost his temper.

  20. paulhargis53 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Really lounge? The guy deserves to die for filing what you determine to be a frivolous lawsuit?! Wow. That has to be a top 10 of a pos thing to say that I’ve seen on these threads. Seek help dude, its just a game. It’s really sad to know that there are people out there like you and lakerluver, that are so tied into their sports teams for their own well being that they’d say it was karma for a man to die for that. Jesus. God help you man, you have some issues….

  21. captainrick2285 - Aug 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    At least Kobe didn’t attack him in a hotel room

  22. manchestermiracle - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    A) Why anyone would drink that burnt swill McDonald’s calls coffee is beyond me, and
    B) Doesn’t virtually every ticket to any sporting event have some sort of disclaimer on the back? If not, they should. I haven’t been to anything that has more than about 10 people in it in decades, but it seems to me that any sports lawyer worth a damn representing a team or league would have that sort of possibility covered. Excepting provable negligence, no one sitting court side at an event that features 6 1/2 to 7-foot tall, 250-300 lb. men should be at all surprised when one of them falls into your lap.

  23. jcraw4 - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I think Kobe should sue the laker-hater’s estate for injuries Kobe received from accidently hitting the man, at least for pain and suffering!!…..Stupid lawsuits!!!

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