Originally created 02/17/99

Woman cannot mention other suits against Rodman



LOS ANGELES -- A cocktail waitress who accused Dennis Rodman of grabbing her breast cannot mention previous lawsuits against him in her own suit, a judge ruled Tuesday.

But the woman, Susan Patterson, did win a ruling that allows her to keep a claim of emotional distress in her lawsuit.

Patterson, who works at the Fenix in the Argyle Hotel in West Hollywood, also accused Rodman of assault, battery, negligence and false imprisonment. She sued on Nov. 10, five weeks after she says she was assaulted.

Her lawsuit cited assault claims by other women in Nevada and Utah, but the judge granted a request to delete mention of them in the Patterson case.

"We hope it sends a message that the focus is not going to be on what happened in these other lawsuits," said Rich Howell, Rodman's lawyer.

The former Chicago Bulls star, who appears close to signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, is accused of jamming a $100 bill down Patterson's blouse and grabbing her breast.

Rodman pursued her into a corner and continued lunging at her even after she folded into a fetal position, the suit says. She finally got away by crawling into the kitchen area, it says.

Patterson seeks general and punitive damages, which would be determined at trial. No date was set.