Gatti kin prepares to battle widow

MATHIEU TURBIDE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

MONTREAL -- If the family of late boxing champ Arturo Gatti has its way, the legal battling with Gatti's widow could last into 2011 and could end up being reminiscent of the massive civil suit O.J. Simpson was involved in in 1997.

Lawyers for Gatti's mother, Ida, and brother Fabrizio, made it known to Judge Paul Chaput this week that they plan to show that Amanda Rodrigues is responsible for Arturo's death even though she was vindicated by Brazilian authorities after the death was ruled a suicide.

In Simpson's case, the former football player was hit with a $35-million civil suit by the family of Ronald Goldman after Simpson was acquitted during his double murder trial.

The Gatti proceedings will involve combing through the investigation that ultimately cleared Rodrigues of any wrongdoing. For example, the lawyers want to reconstruct the scene of the boxer's death to attempt to prove that the belt that he was said to have hung himself with could not have supported his weight.

"In the civil (case), I can prove that the woman, whether she was responsible," said lawyer Carmine Mercadante told Chaput last Tuesday. "I can prove that responsibility here."

Stunned by this approach, the judge asked Mercadante several times "where he was going" with these allegations because the Gatti family has never indicated in court that they would be attempting to directly implicate Rodrigues in the death of her husband.

The judge told the lawyer that the first step would be to file the proper documents outlining the allegations.

If the revised documentation is accepted by the judge, the schedule suggested by the Gatti family lawyers for the proceedings would drag them out until at least 2011.

The parties are expected to be in court in early December.


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