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A federal jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday ordered Miami Heat Ltd. to pay $10,000 in damages, ruling in favor of a woman who said she was publicly humiliated by the team’s mascot at a 1994 exhibition game.

Yvonne Gil-Rebollo had sued for $1 million.

The charges stemmed from an Oct. 23, 1994, exhibition game in San Juan, when mascot Wes Lockard, dressed up in his bird costume as the mascot “Burnie,” dragged her onto the court against her will.

Gil-Rebollo claimed she suffered severe mental and physical distress. She claimed that Lockard bruised her arm and broke her purse strap after he knocked her to the floor in front of 6,000 spectators.


Denver Nuggets forward LaPhonso Ellis will undergo surgery today to remove loose cartilage from his left knee and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks… . Eighteen of the 29 NBA teams lost their season-openers at home this season… . The new and improved Lakers, 3-1 with Shaquille O’Neal, have yet to score 100 points in a game.

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