SHORT TAKES : Caesars Accuses Dangerfield

FROM TIMES WIRE SERVICES

Caesars Palace attorneys say they will present evidence that comedian Rodney Dangerfield has "severe problems with cocaine, marijuana and alcohol abuse" when his lawsuit against the resort goes to trial. An attorney for Dangerfield called the allegations "a joke."

The civil trial is scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Dangerfield and his Paperclip Productions Inc. of New York are seeking $225,000 in damages from Caesars. The resort has filed a breach-of-contract countersuit against its former headliner for $100,000 plus punitive damages.

Dangerfield, 64, sued the resort because of a March 16, 1988, incident in which he said he suffered eye damage after being scalded by a burst of steam when entering a steam room behind the hotel's showroom.

In documents filed with the court Monday, the resort's attorney, Jill R. Cohen, wrote that the steam didn't cause Dangerfield's eye problems. The brief blames Dangerfield's lifestyle and his use of a certain type of eyedrops despite warnings to the contrary.

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