DALLAS -- Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders is battling an automotive shop over what he says Jesus told him to pay for a repair bill.
The owner of the repair shop says Sanders wanted to pay only $1,500 of the $4,265.57 bill, saying that Jesus had informed him that was all he needed to pay.
"It's the 'Praise Jesus' discount,'' attorney Ed Edson told The Dallas Morning News in Monday's editions.
Edson said he has been trying to collect the bill from Sanders since 2001 on behalf of Phil Compton, the owner of the car repair business.
Through court filings, the player says the accusations are untrue. Sanders' attorney, Edmund Gomez, did not return a telephone call early Monday from The Associated Press.
The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial later Monday before state District Judge Joe Cox in Dallas County civil court.
Anthony Montoya, a representative for Sanders, had contacted Compton and told him a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible needed to be towed to his shop for repairs. The car had been repaired before by Compton.
Papers filed in his lawsuit stated that he and his mechanics installed a new radiator and thermostat, flushed the engine, repaired the car's electrical system and gauges, replaced the starter motor, removed contaminated fuel and rebuilt the carburetor. Mechanics for Magrathea Inc., Compton's company, had replaced gaskets and hoses.
Sanders had approved and Montoya had approved all the repairs, according to the lawsuit. But when the car was returned to the CBS sportscaster's home in Plano on Nov. 5, 2001, Compton said Pilar Sanders, the former Cowboy's wife, "answered the door, took the keys and invoices, started the car to make sure it was working and went back into the locked house, refusing to return the keys or invoices.''
Sanders' bodyguards and housekeepers then moved their cars in front of and behind the Lincoln so that it couldn't be towed back to the garage, the lawsuit stated.
When Sanders drove up, he refused to pay the invoice amount, handing Compton a $1,500 check and saying, "Praise Jesus ... I follow what in my heart I'm told to pay.''