Burnie was sued in 1994 during an exhibition game in Puerto Rico. Burnie selected a woman from the audience, dragged her by the feet, and danced on the court with her during a time-out. The woman turned out to be the wife of a Federal Judge. The woman pulled away from Burnie and fell. Incredibly, Burnie faced 20 years in jail after being charged with aggravated assault and battery. Burnie was also sued for US$1 million for emotional distress. The media ridiculed the case and the wife repeatedly appeared on late-night TV. The case was settled for $50,000.