B.I.G. Coughs Up The Cash

At least he wasn't there to nap while the verdict was being handed down. Rapper

Notorious B.I.G. wasn't in the courtroom last Fri. (Jan. 24) when a jury ruled

that he should pay $16,700 to Nathaniel Banks, a driver who claims he was

beaten by B.I.G. Banks was sent by a promoter to retrieve B.I.G., also known as

Biggie Smalls, for a May 6, 1995 concert, which was later canceled, according

to the Associated Press.

It only took the Camden, N.J. jury one

hour to return the verdict, which breaks down to $15,000 compensatory damages

and $1,700 for medical bills. The jury is expected to reach a decision on

punitive damages today (Jan. 27).

Smalls, who has maintained his

innocence, still faces a criminal charge in the 1995 beating of Banks. Banks

claims he was beaten when Smalls and his associates tried to collect their

$7,500 performance fee after the May 6th concert was canceled en route to the