May 7, 2008

Yet Another Celebrity Punitive Damages Story

Punitive damages lawsuits must be the latest celebrity trend. In our recent posts about Keanu Reeves's efforts to fend off a punitive damages claim, we mentioned that Reeves is represented by appellate specialist David Ozeran, who was previously in the news for representing Lindsay Lohan. It now appears that Ozeran may have to fend off another punitive damages claim for his other celebrity client.

According to this ABC News story, a Columbia University Student is threatening to sue Lohan for punitive damages because Lohan allegedly stole the student's $11,000 fur coat at a nightclub. Apparently, on the evening in question, Lohan was photographed wearing a black coat. She then attended a birthday party at a nightclub where Masha Markova and her "blond mink" coat were in attendance. The mink coat disappeared and Lohan was allegedly photographed wearing a strikingly similar coat. (The photos are posted along with the story on the ABC News website.) Somehow, the coat was returned to Markova. While Lohan's alleged "borrowing" of the coat sounds pretty sketchy, I'm more than a little skeptical of the claims by Markova's lawyer that she can obtain punitive damages "in the six figure range" if she proceeds with a lawsuit.