Dodgers pitcher hit with damage award; appeal planned

Updated: December 3, 2004, 1:42 AM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jose Lima could have to pay a woman who claims she contracted genital herpes from him as much as $950,000, the woman's attorney said Thursday.

A civil jury this week awarded Michelle E. Rudolph $475,000 for assault and $475,000 for negligence by Lima, attorney Chad Dunn said.

It will be up to state District Judge Tony Lindsay to determine whether Lima has to pay out $475,000 or $950,000 when a final judgment is issued in the case, he said.

Lima's attorney, Raphaell Wilkins, plans to appeal. He says there is no evidence to support the verdict.

"No judgment has been entered at this time," he said. "We are confident that this verdict will be overturned."

Earlier this year, another jury awarded the woman $15,000, but gave her no money for pain and suffering. A judge then granted her a retrial.

Dunn claims Rudolph and Lima, a former Houston Astros player, dated for about two years before the baseball player took a trip to the Dominican Republic and returned with the incurable virus.

The woman's last sexual encounter with Lima was on Feb. 16. She was diagnosed with genital herpes on Feb. 21, her attorney said.

Lima, who won 21 games for the Astros in 1999, was traded to Detroit in 2001. He had a 13-5 record with a 4.07 ERA last season for the Dodgers. He is a free agent.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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