Memorabilia dealer robbed by Simpson seeks damages

A memorabilia dealer who blames his heart attacks on the stress of being robbed at gunpoint by O.J. Simpson is suing the former football star and five other men who were in the room during the heist.

A lawyer for Bruce Fromong said Monday that he intends show to a Nevada jury that his 55-year-old client's four heart attacks were caused by the stress of the September 2007 robbery in a Palace Station hotel room and its aftermath.

"We think we can prove the causal connection," said Fromong's attorney, Elliot Blut of Century City, Calif. Blut also practices law in Nevada.

Fromong, of North Las Vegas, said he still sees doctors for maladies he blames on the encounter. He said he and his wife, Lynette Fromong, have suffered financially, mentally and physically.

"This has affected our entire life," Fromong said.

Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter called the lawsuit frivolous.

"I'm going to fight this guy tooth and nail," he said from Miami. "Initially, Fromong said his heart attacks were caused by the news media. Now he's switching his story and saying O.J. caused it."

District Judge Jessie Walsh has not set a hearing on the lawsuit, filed Friday.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified civil damages, names Simpson and convicted co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart as defendants, with four former co-defendants who took plea deals and testified for the prosecution.

Walter Alexander, Charles Cashmore, Charles Ehrlich and Michael McClinton each pleaded guilty to lesser felonies and received probation.

The lawsuit also names Thomas Riccio, the go-between who arranged the ill-fated meeting with Fromong but was never charged.

Alexander's lawyer in the Simpson case, Robert Dennis Rentzer of Tarzana, Calif., said he no longer represents Alexander. Riccio and lawyers for Cashmore, Ehrlich and McClinton did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The other memorabilia peddler who was robbed, Alfred Beardsley, is not named as a defendant.

"I wasn't going to sue another victim," Fromong said.

Stewart's lawyer, Brent Bryson, said Fromong testified at trial that he wasn't scared by Stewart and that Fromong recalled someone he thought was Stewart patting him down for weapons during the Sept. 13, 2007, confrontation.

"He said it was the men with the guns he was afraid of," Bryson said.

Simpson, 62, is serving nine to 33 years at a prison in Lovelock for his conviction on charges including armed robbery and kidnapping.

Simpson said that he didn't know anyone had guns and that he was trying to retrieve items that had been stolen after his acquittal in the 1994 slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles.

Stewart, 55, is serving 71/2 to 27 years at a prison in Carson City.

Both men are appealing their convictions.