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Mayor Giuliani To Serve on Jury

August 31, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ He was a no-nonsense federal prosecutor. Then he became the mayor of the most populous city in the nation. Now Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has a new job _ juror.

The mayor was selected Monday to serve on a jury in a case involving a man who is suing his landlord after claiming he was badly scalded while taking a shower.

The lawsuit, filed by Oliver and Larene Johnson, seeks $6 million in damages from Riverton Associates for allegedly improperly maintaining the boiler and pipes in the couple’s apartment. Mrs. Johnson is seeking an additional $1 million for loss of companionship.

``He was caused to sustain severe, protracted and serious personal injuries as a result of the negligence″ of the owners, according to the lawsuit filed after the February 1995 incident.

In court documents, Riverton Associates has denied the allegations. A phone message left at the company was not immediately returned Monday.

Giuliani, who expected to be dismissed quickly from the pool of jurors Monday, instead waited the entire morning and most of the afternoon with other prospective jurors.

The mayor said he was shocked when he was selected.

``I was surprised, but I really want to comment on it as little as possible,″ he said. ``I am gratified and very honored to serve and actually looking forward to it after all these years as a trial lawyer.″

Giuliani is the latest in a list of politicians and celebrities to be called for jury duty since the state approved a jury reform law in 1995 that did away with exemptions for lawyers and doctors, among others.

Among those who have been called up _ but not selected for trial _ are Gov. George Pataki, Spike Lee, Woody Allen, Richard Gere, Glenn Close and Sally Jesse Raphael.

The mayor’s trial was scheduled to begin today.

``This is a very rewarding experience, I hope,″ the mayor said. ``You never know.″

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