KTLA News (US), October 31, 2008
Lawsuit Against Keanu Reeves in Jurors Hands
LOS ANGELES -- The negligence case against actor Keanu Reeves was put in the hands of jurors this afternoon, after attorneys gave their closing arguments -- and very different explanations of what happened with a paparazzo on a Rancho Palos Verdes cul-de-sac on March 19, 2007.
In his lawsuit, Alison Silva alleges Reeves hit him with the front of his Porsche while trying to drive away, knocking him to the pavement of a Rancho Palos Verdes street and causing an injury to his left wrist that he claims will never fully heal.
Saying his client was a "timid" paparazzo that night, attorney Joseph S. Farzam asked jurors to return a damage award of about $640,800 to compensate his client for out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills, as well as for past and future lost earnings.
But Reeves' lawyer, Alfred W. Gerisch, urged the panel of six men and six women to find that Reeves was not negligent and award no damages. He said Silva fell on his own after putting his hand on the hood of Reeves' car, then stepped backward and stumbled.
Gerisch added that if the jury does find the actor negligent, the only money he should have to pay Silva is for his hospital emergency room expenses.
According to Farzam, when Reeves tried to drive away with a pedestrian in front of him, he was not being reasonably careful.
Farzam also scoffed at defense arguments that the wrist injury Silva received Silva maintains he suffered that night was actually largely related to one the Brazilian native suffered as a 12-year-old boy playing soccer.
Farzam admitted his client was negligent, but still put 90 percent of the fault on Reeves' shoulders while acknowledging that he is an admirer of the actor.
But Gerisch told jurors that Silva was bent on getting a photo of Reeves that night, and looking forward to making a lot of money, and that he risked his own safety needlessly to do so.
Just as he did the previous day, Gerisch showed jurors video of Silva taking celebrity photos while balancing himself atop a high fence and holding razor wire with his left hand. He then is shown coming down from the fence while bracing himself on the wall with his left hand. The video was taken sometime after the run-in with Reeves, according to Gerisch.
The jury deliberated for only about five minutes and will resume their work on Monday.
Reeves, whose screen credits include "The Matrix" trilogy, "The Lake House" and "Something's Gotta Give," had gone to Rancho Palos Verdes to visit his sister.