Jury Deliberates in Tommy Lee Case

By | April 17, 2003 at 12:00 AM

A jury began deliberating whether to hold rocker Tommy Lee responsible for the death of a 4-year-old boy who drowned during a pool party at the drummer’s home.

A 12-member jury met for an hour after closing arguments Wednesday, then adjourned for the evening. They were to resume deliberations Thursday.

A lawyer for the boy’s parents told the jury that $10 million would be a suitable damage award.

“It would have been so easy for this terrible thing not to take place,” Thomas Girardi said in his closing argument.

Daniel Karven-Veres drowned during a birthday party for Lee’s son Brandon on June 16, 2001. His parents, actress Ursula Karven and TV producer James Veres, filed a wrongful death suit, accusing Lee of negligence for failing to have a lifeguard or someone trained in CPR present during the party.

Lee’s attorney, James Baratta, said it was not Lee who was at fault, but Daniel’s parents, who did not accompany him to the party, and the boys’ two nannies.

The former drummer for Motley Crue testified during the trial that he did everything he could to ensure the safety of his son’s guests, including requiring that every child have an adult there to supervise them.

The boy’s mother testified that if she had known there would be swimming at the party she would have made sure Daniel brought a floatation device.

Daniel’s caretaker, a German exchange student who can no longer be located, accompanied him to the party. When he left early to attend a concert, both sides say, he placed Daniel in the care of a nanny who was there to watch other children.

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