Denver Nuggets coach Paul Westhead's $1 million defamation suit punctuated a challenge to a wrongful-death lawsuit by Hank Gathers' family against Loyola Marymount and its former coach.
"I take the position on behalf of Westhead that there will absolutely be no settlement," Westhead's attorney Richie Phillips said Thursday of the Gathers family's $32.5 million lawsuit pending in Superior Court in Los Angeles.He said he intended to go to trial and that Westhead, one of 14 defendants in the case, would be vindicated. He said the trial is scheduled for September.
Phillips made the remarks at a news conference to announce filing of the defamation suit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against an attorney for the family, Bruce Fagel of Beverly Hills, Calif.
Fagel, at a Jan. 8 news conference in California, blamed Gathers' death on Westhead.
"I still feel deeply the loss of Hank Gathers, and that's something that's not easy to have diminished," Westhead said in a phone conference to Phillips' office. "But the recent court actions and comments specifically by Bruce Fagel have really attacked my personal integrity and I just made a decision that I cannot allow that to go unnoticed."