A judge has ordered troubled actress Lindsay Lohan to pay a paparazzo $1,000 for failing to attend depositions about what the photographer says was a 2010 car crash that involved her and caused him injuries.
An insurance lawyer for the 26-year-old actress, who has faced a slew of legal problems over the past five years, had in August 2012 denied his allegations, which were listed in a lawsuit he filed the previous January.
Balyan's attorney, Neil Steiner, told KABC Television, OTRC.com's parent company on Tuesday, February 26, that the actress had missed at least two deposition dates that had been scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, despite traveling to the city anyway.
"There have been abuses of the discovery process by this defendant," Judge Ronald M. Sohigian said at a hearing that day, ordering Lohan to pay $1,000 to Balyan.
The celebrity photographer says that on Jan. 10, 2010, he suffered injuries after a car belonging to the actress hit him outside a nightclub in Hollywood as he tried to snap photos of her. He says Lohan's assistant drove the vehicle and that the actress was in the passenger's seat. Balyan is suing for $25,000 to cover the costs of his treatments for his injuries, property damage and negligence.
"Since Lohan was sitting in the passenger seat, she had the best view of my client, who was standing by the right side of the car," Balyan's attorney said. "I just want to ask her what she saw that night."
Lohan's personal attorney had no immediate comment about the judge's comments. Balyan's attorney says Lohan's assistant had already provided her deposition and claims she did not see the car hitting his client.
Lohan's insurance lawyer, Julia Azrael, said in August in her own court filing that Balyan was "negligent in his conduct at the time of the accident and carelessly put himself near a moving automobile in order to photograph [Lohan] and that [Balyan's] conduct was the cause of his injuries," according to E! Online.
Balyan's attorney said that on one of the scheduled deposition dates, January 31, Lohan was photographed in New York with her mother. A day earlier, she was in Los Angeles for a separate legal matter -- she attended a pretrial hearing about misdemeanor charges of allegedly lying to police about a summer car crash, which had led to her probation to be revoked. She could land back in jail if she is convicted.
During Tuesday's hearing, the judge told Azrael, that he does not want to be "horsed around" anymore and he feels it is appropriate to set a firm date for her deposition. Azrael said she is trying to secure dates with the actress' personal attorney, but that her "continued efforts have not succeeded yet."
Judge Sohigian replied that "trying is not altogether satisfactory," noting she has to deliver results. He set April 8 as a new deposition date for Lohan, adding that no alternative dates could be accepted unless attorneys for both parties request one in writing. The actress is ordered to appear at Balyan's lawyer's office and be questioned about the 2010 crash.