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Potential delays may affect suit filed in Denver

1/9/2005 - Kobe Bryant

DENVER -- A lawyer for a woman accusing NBA star Kobe Bryant
of sexual assault said the alleged victim has dropped plans to file
her lawsuit in California, where the law would allow her to seek
more money for damages.

L. Lin Wood said Friday his client is worried that filing in
California would add legal layers to the case that would delay the
resolution of her civil lawsuit that is pending in U.S. District
Court in Denver.

"We're going to stay in Denver on the Bryant case in the hopes
we'll get to trial sooner rather than later," Wood said.

There is no cap on monetary damages for pain and suffering in
California, while damages in Colorado are typically capped at
$366,000.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions would have allowed Wood to
simultaneously file civil suits in both federal and state courts,
the Atlanta-based lawyer said.

The woman claims Bryant sexually assaulted her in June 2003 at a
Vail-area resort where she worked. Bryant said the sex was
consensual.

The woman sued Bryant three weeks before prosecutors in Eagle,
Colo., dropped their criminal case in September, citing the woman's
desire to no longer participate. Without admitting wrongdoing,
Bryant issued an apology to the woman.

The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages from Bryant
for the woman's alleged emotional injuries.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to print names of
alleged sexual assault victims without their consent. The woman has
asked that her name not be published.