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Woman suing Johnny Depp can seek punitive damages, judge rules

Johnny Depp is seen in this undated file photo.

October 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman who claims she was injured by Johnny Depp's security guards can seek punitive damages against him, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday.

Robin Eckert says she was dragged across the floor of the Hollywood Palladium by guards protecting Depp during an Iggy Pop concert there last December.

She is suing Depp, Palladium management and firms that provided security for both Depp and the venue.

Defense attorneys asked that she only be allowed to pursue compensatory damages. But the judge, without ruling on the merits of her claim, said there was enough to seek punitive damages as well.

Eckert, a 53-year-old UC Irvine medical professor who is disabled, claims a series of confrontations with Depp and his entourage occurred when she tried to return to the VIP section between the opening and main acts. She says Depp's guards and those of the Palladium dragged her across the floor.

According to a police report, Eckert reported the incident to the LAPD by telephone, saying she could not physically appear at the Hollywood Station due to her disability. After her report was taken, the station received a call from Irvine police, who said Eckert came to their station "extremely intoxicated and irate" to tell them about the incident, according to the LAPD report.

In the LAPD's report, Eckert said she had not been drinking.

City News Service contributed to this report.