Jury Awards Williams 340K in Romo Case
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A jury ordered Bill Romanowski to pay former Oakland Raiders teammate Marcus Williams $340,000 in damages Tuesday for smashing the tight end's face with a punch during a practice drill in 2003.
Williams had been seeking millions of dollars in damages for the Aug. 24, 2003, attack, saying it broke his left eye socket, shortened his memory, gave him double vision and depression, and ended his career after less than two seasons.
"We are very pleased with the verdict because it establishes that there are limits to the violence in football," said Williams' attorney, James Brosnahan.
Williams received $40,000 in medical expenses and $300,000 for lost wages -- about one season's salary.
Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating for two days. Romanowski showed no visible emotion as the verdict was read, but his wife gave him a hug.
Neither side said it plans to appeal the verdict.
"If Marcus Williams would have come to us then and said write us a check for $340,000 this would have been done in a heartbeat," said Romanowski's attorney, Jeffrey Springer. "There was never an opportunity in this case to settle this case or resolve it for anything other than millions of dollars."
During the trial, Williams testified that after he blocked Romanowski during a running drill, Romanowski grabbed his helmet and then ripped it off before the crushing blow was delivered.
"This was not football -- there are lines and limits and rules," Brosnahan said.
Romanowski told jurors he did punch Williams in the face, but did not remember much more about the fight.
"There was a fight that broke out," he said. "My reaction was a reaction from being pushed in the back."
Williams also testified that his life has now turned into nightmare, with no real hopes of playing football while at the same time seeing Romanowski in his dreams.
"He is satisfied that we established what we set out to establish ... that what Romanowski did was wrong," Brosnahan said. "You have to respect the jury because they listen carefully to all the evidence."