A federal judge has ordered former football star O.J. Simpson to pay $25,000 in damages for pirating satellite television signals from DirecTV.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard awarded the damages, plus attorneys’ fees and other costs, after granting a motion for summary judgment in a civil suit against Simpson.
In a raid on Simpson’s Miami home in 2001, federal agents seized illegal devices known as “bootloaders” that authorities said were used to steal television programming.
Simpson’s attorney, Yale Galanter, said Tuesday that the judge “basically denied us our right to a jury trial. ... This was a decision made by a judge in chambers. They say he did it; we say he didn’t. A jury should be able to make that decision.”
Simpson was aware of Friday’s ruling, Galanter added. Asked whether Simpson would pay the damages and other costs, the attorney said: “We are examining our legal options. ... We want our day in court.”
Galanter has 10 days to respond, or the summary judgment stands.
DirecTV executives were pleased with the ruling.
“The evidence was overwhelming since the devices seized in Simpson’s home were connected to his TV and in operation and receiving unauthorized signals at the time of the raid,” said Dan Fawcett, an executive vice president with El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV Inc.
Simpson moved to Florida from California after he was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
A civil jury in 1997 held Simpson liable for the killings and ordered him to pay the victims’ survivors $33.5 million. Much of that judgment remains unpaid.