TOMMY LEE Cleared In Accidental Drowning Death Lawsuit
Jurors on Thursday cleared ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee of liability in the June 2001 accidental drowning death of four-year-old Daniel Karven-Veres, a playmate of Lee and ex-wife Pamela Anderson's son, Brandon.
The nine women and three men on the jury deliberated for just one hour Wednesday, reconvening briefly Thursday morning before deciding to clear Lee.
Lee, who placed the frantic 911 call alerting authorities to Daniel's drowning, remained stoic during the reading of the verdict. He left the courthouse quickly, giving the slip to reporters, but getting stopped by jury foreman Howard Pollack.
Later, Pollack recounted the conversation to reporters, saying he told the rocker, "It was not your responsibility and you shouldn't feel bad."
At issue was a wrongful-death suit filed in February 2002 by German TV star Ursula Karven-Veres and producer James Veres, the parents of the little boy found floating face down in the shallow end of Lee's pool.
In closing arguments on Wednesday, the couple's attorney, Thomas Girardi, asked jurors to consider a $10 million judgment against Lee. Lee's attorney, Jim Baratta, suggested $1 million as a more apt price tag, even as he said he doubted they'd ask Lee to fork over even a dime.
The Vereses accused Lee of negligence, contending the oft-busted bad boy of failing to properly supervise a pool party at his Malibu mansion on the occasion of Brandon Lee's fifth birthday.
Lee's camp countered that the Vereses, who did not attend the party, were at fault for leaving their son in the care of a nanny who left the party to attend a concert, entrusting Daniel to a second nanny who, in the words of Baratta, "didn't do her job at all."
"Although I am relieved that the court has found me not negligent, there are no winners in this sad situation," Lee said in a statement released by his publicist.
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