A Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled Friday (Nov. 12) that Rod Stewart must repay $780,000 in deposits he received for a 2002 Latin American tour that never came to pass.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled Friday (Nov. 12) that Rod Stewart must repay $780,000 in deposits he received for a 2002 Latin American tour that never came to pass.

"David slew Goliath," says Howard Pollack, plaintiff in the case and partner in the P.M. Group with Cesar Morales.

The jury also ruled that Stewart's attorneys and agents at International Creative Management must pay $1.6 million in damages for their role in contract negotiations for the tour.

The contract, negotiated in the fall of 2001, stipulated that Stewart be paid $2.1 million for nine concerts in Central and South America beginning in February 2002. The promoters were to be Howard Pollack of Oklahoma City, Okla.-based P.M. Management; Ricardo Velarde in Peru; and other South American entities.

According to Pollack, good-faith deposits were paid as negotiations moved forward, but Stewart's handlers ultimately opted out of the tour without paying back the deposits, and the promoters filed the lawsuit in July 2002.

"They thought we wouldn't pursue them, but they were wrong," says Pollack. "We did pursue them, and we did prevail."

Louis "Skip" Miller, the attorney representing Stewart and his co-defendants, says he will file an appeal soon. He adds that there is no legal basis for the damages.

"I am almost certain this verdict will be overturned," Miller tells Billboard. "There is no basis in law or the evidence for it. You can't sue a lawyer or an agent for doing their jobs."

He also believes the refund of the deposit will be reversed "because the plaintiffs didn't pay it. Howard Pollack never paid a dime. The real parties who paid the deposit never sued."

Pollack says he entered into partnership with the South American parties and through that partnership paid ICM. He adds that, while promoters rarely take legal action against artists and managers for fear of repercussions down the road, "a precedent had to be set in the business."