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Split Decision in Broncos Ownership Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A federal jury issued a split decision in a lawsuit claiming that Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen lied to the team's former owner about distributing ownership among Bowlen family members and cheated him of a chance to buy back part ownership.

The jury agreed with Edgar Kaiser's assertion that Bowlen violated the terms of the contract by not giving him first chance at buying back any share of the team.

But jurors rejected the claim that Bowlen violated a contract provision requiring him to be the sole owner.

Now a new trial will be scheduled to decide what the damages may be -- but no trial date was set.

Bowlen's attorneys had argued that Kaiser knew all along that Bowlen's family would be involved -- and that Kaiser was trying to buy back a share of the team at 1984 prices.

Kaiser's attorney -- Stephen Long -- showed the jury documents he said indicated that the Bowlen family was trying to hide the fact that Pat Bowlen was acting as an agent for companies owned by the family rather than as a sole purchaser.

Kaiser also alleged Bowlen gave former Broncos quarterback John Elway a chance to buy a stake in the team -- despite a provision in the sales agreement giving Kaiser first shot at any such offer.

Long says Kaiser will try to gain 20 percent ownership of the team because that was the offer made to Elway.

Bowlen's lawyers say after the verdict that only a cash payment will be considered.


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