A civil judgment ordering rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs to pay $450,000 (€368,800) to a man who claimed he was beaten by bodyguards hired by the rapper was overturned on appeal.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Cedrick Bobby Lemon had said he was beaten in June 1995 by bodyguards Combs hired to protect soul singer Mary J Blige at a concert in Winston-Salem. Combs was Blige’s manager.
Because Combs did not respond to the complaint within the time required by law, a judge ruled in Lemon’s favour and ordered a default judgment against Combs.
But the appeals court has now found that Lemon did not meet other requirements when he requested the default judgment and overturned it.
According to Lemon’s lawsuit, he worked as a limousine driver and wore an identification badge which permitted him to stand backstage.
As two bodyguards tried to clear the area to escort Blige from the coliseum after the concert, they punched Lemon in the head, kicked him in the back and broke his right ankle, according to the lawsuit.
Combs was negligent because he failed to train the bodyguards properly for their duties, the lawsuit said.
Lemon’s lawyer, Howard Jones, said his client had not decided whether to appeal the decision. He had medical bills of £8,000 (€6,600), the lawsuit says, and the attack left him unable to work as a limo driver.