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Tuesday, February 23, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Bosworth Wins $7 Million In Suit

Brian Bosworth scored one of the biggest victories of his life today in federal court as a jury ruled in his favor in his $5.1 million disability-insurance case against Lloyd's of London.

The Seattle jury of seven women and five men in the court of District Judge William L. Dwyer had deliberated about 10 hours after receiving the case last Friday and breaking for the weekend.

Interest is expected to push the award to near $7 million, according to lawyers for Bosworth, a former linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, and the NFL team.

The jury also ruled that the Seahawks are due $218,750 from the insurance company on a policy the team purchased to pay Bosworth's 1989 salary after he was placed on injured reserve.

Bosworth rested his head in his hands as the verdict was read and later hugged his common-law wife, Katherine Nicastro, for 25 seconds when court was adjourned.

Bosworth told reporters he felt an "overwhelming sensation of emotion" as the verdict was read.

He said it was "very poetic" that one of the last aspects of his brief NFL career "end here in Seattle and end in a positive manner."

Bosworth said the principle of the case was more important to him than the money. "It wasn't a monetary thing at all," he said.

He said the trial was emotional because it forced him to face the fact his football-playing days are finished.

"The last 2 1/2 years, I've lived in denial of my injury. . . ." he said. "We can now put this part of my life to rest."

Lawyers for Lloyd's had argued during the 10-day trial that the policies were "accident-only" policies and that Bosworth's career ended because of degenerative arthritis, which they classified as a disease.

Tom Merrick, attorney for Lloyd's, said the verdict might be appealed.

Bosworth's final NFL game was against the Phoenix Cardinals in Week 2 of the 1989 season. He left the game with a right shoulder injury suffered while tackling Ron Wolfley. He re-entered the game in pain and had to leave after tackling Stump Mitchell on what was the final play of both their careers. Bosworth and the Seahawks argued that it was the right-shoulder injury suffered in the game that forced his retirement.

The Seahawks acquired Bosworth in the 1987 supplemental draft lottery in what was hailed then as a stroke of gigantic luck. Bosworth wore business suits throughout the trial and looked like a lawyer with close-cropped hair. He testified that "the Boz" was a character and an act and told the jury his book, "The Boz: Confessions of a Modern Anti-Hero" was "a comic book from cover to cover."

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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