Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones will have to pay $11 million in damages for injuries two strip club employees suffered at the hands of a gunman acting for Jones, a court ruled on Friday.
The 2007 shooting left the strip club’s manager, Tommy Urbanski, paralyzed from the waist down. A former bouncer, Aaron Cudworth, was also wounded. Jones, who is trying to make a comeback in the NFL, said the judgment is financially devastating and he is unable to pay until he collects his first paycheck in September, ESPN.com reported.
“It’s obviously a devastating amount for him financially,” said his lawyer, Lisa Rasmussen. “He has really worked hard to make a comeback with his NFL career. He doesn’t make enough money to pay that judgment.”
A lawyer for Cudworth said the verdict is fair considering the bouncer is in constant pain from gunshots to his chest and arm, ESPN.com reported. Cudworth’s lawyer said he will try to collect his money regardless of Jones’ job status or ability to pay in full. The Bengals re-signed Jones in March to a one-year, $950,000 contract.
Urbanski said he hopes the verdict sends a message to athletes that they must be responsible for their actions.
“They’ve got to clean up their acts,” he was quoted in a story from the Associated Press. “All of them.”
Jones, who was not present for the verdict, has already become a role model of sorts. The NFL asked Pacman to speak with incoming rookies about how to avoid the kind of situations he got himself into.