Intentional Injuries Verdicts


Most personal injury claims arise from accidents-situations in which one party is careless in his actions or in maintaining property and inadvertently injures another person. In some cases, however, the facts are much worse: one person (or even a company) has intentionally harmed another person.

Often, intentional injuries that give rise to personal injury claims are also criminal acts, but the criminal justice system doesn't always provide a remedy for the victim.

If you've been the victim of battery, sexual assault, or some other intentional injury, talk to a personal injury attorney about civil remedies that may be available to you.

The cases described below have been collected from news sources across the country to provide a general idea of the types of injuries compensated and the awards other victims of intentional injuries have received.*

*Results taken from recent news articles. Results not typical. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

$192 Million Jury Verdict For "Idea Man"

A 72-year-old chemical expert sued a company for stealing his invention and was subsequently awarded $192 million in damages.

The man argued that he created a way of transforming hazardous waste into lucrative manufacturing ingredients, which was stolen by two companies. The companies allegedly patented his idea without informing him. The jury agreed with him.

The injury award was solely monetary; no punitive damages were awarded. The $192 million figure was the projected profit one of the chemical plants is expected to make into the year 2025.

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$300,000 Award Upheld for Two High School Students Who Experienced Anti-Gay Abuse

A California state appeals court recently upheld a jury verdict for two former high school students who said they experienced anti-gay abuse that the school district just brushed off. In their original harassment lawsuit, the former high school students alleged they were subjected to verbal and physical abuse at the high school and officials did little when the kids came forward with complaints. The harassment was so bad that both teens studied from home their senior year. The students won their harassment lawsuit in June of 2005, where one was awarded $175,000 and the other was awarded $125,000, in addition to $421,357 in lawyer fees.

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling in Grand Traverse County Jail Suit

Along with upholding the $214,000 award to a woman injured in the Grand Traverse Country Jail in Michigan, the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals felt the county attorney handled the appeal wrong. In January 2003, Amy Lynn Ford, an epileptic, fell from the top bunk in the county jail during a seizure; she broke her hip and clavicle. Ford sued the county because jail officers would not give her prescribed medication or have her evaluated by medical personnel because it was a weekend.

The Grand Traverse County and its insurance provider will share the cost of the jury award and legal bills that could add up to $500,000. Although Ford's lawyer tried to make a settlement, the county rejected many offers.

The judges on the appeals court felt that the county attorney's "missed the mark" in their appeal. A 2006 jury ruling on Ford's case found corrections officers not negligent, but also said that the county's policy on weekend medical care was a proximate cause for Ford's injuries. The county appealed and argued that the county cannot be liable if the jury did not find that an individual violated Ford's rights. The court ruled that the county waived the right to use that defense at the trial. The court felt that the county's attorney should have focused the appeal on attacking the findings of deliberate indifference, which would have required proof that the county was aware of prior unconstitutional actions yet failed to take the corrective measures.

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$63.3 Million Verdict for Family of Slain College Student

It took less than an hour for a jury to tag Shane Ragland with a $63.3 million verdict for fatally shooting a 21-year-old University of Kentucky football player in 1994. The verdict was awarded to the victim's family and included $60 million in punitive damages and $3.3 million in lost income and funeral expenses.

Ragland is now free after his 2002 murder conviction was overturned in 2006. He's maintained his innocence but pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter, and was sentenced to time served (four years) plus three days.

Ragland has few assets, but the verdict means the family can claim any future inheritance or gifts Ragland receives. Ragland's father plans to file an appeal arguing the lawsuit was not filed within the statute of limitations (1 year) because it was filed two years after his son's arrest; however, the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled the statute of limitations time restriction does not officially begin until after conviction.

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$250,000 to Man for Hit-and-Run Injury in Road Rampage

A former football coach of Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas reached a settlement with the city after a mentally-ill car thief ran into him using a stolen city van. Gary Weller was nearly killed in a hit-and-run accident by Abdullah El-Amin Shareef, who was later captured and charged with murder and attempted murder in the "road rampage" that killed one person and injured three others, including Weller. Weller's lawsuit claimed that the city was liable because a city employee left the van running and unlocked in a maintenance lot where it was stolen. The city denied liability, but agreed to the $250,000 settlement to resolve the lawsuit.

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$35 million for wrongful death of novelist's wife

Novelist Michael Peterson from Durham, North Carolina, reached a massive settlement worth over $35 million with his stepdaughter, Caitlin Atwater, for his responsibility in the death of his wife, Kathleen Atwater Peterson. Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife in 2001, when Kathleen Atwater Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs in the couple's home. Caitlin Atwater filed the lawsuit in 2002, hoping to prevent Peterson from being able to profit from the crime. The current settlement is based on an agreed amount of $25 million, plus court costs and $10.5 million in interest.

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Church Ordered to Pay $10.9 Million for Funeral Protest

The father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq won a $10.9 million personal injury verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church after members picketed his son's military funeral. Members of the church routinely travel around the country and hold protests outside of military funerals because they hold the belief that the war in Iraq is punishment from God for the acceptance of gays in the United States and in the military. The Westboro church demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder in March, 2006. Albert Snyder testified that the church picket at his son's funeral invaded the family's privacy and inflicted intentional emotional distress. The Maryland jury awarded Albert Snyder $2.9 million in compensatory damages, $2 million for emotional distress and $6 million in punitive damages.

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Bar Ordered to Pay Assault Victim $850,000

A Wake County Superior Court judge ruled that Cary's Tavern and Grill, a bar in Raleigh, North Carolina, was responsible in the beating of a man that occurred outside the establishment, and awarded that the owner pay $850,000 in damages to the victim. In April 2003, bar patron Greg Little was assaulted by several assailants who were also patrons, leaving him with multiple fractures and permanent loss of sight in his left eye. Lawyers for Little argued that the bar should be held responsible because the bartender and owner knew of the past behavior of the patrons who assaulted Little, but did nothing to prevent an incident from occurring. According to the bartender, the men had been banned from the bar by a previous owner, but this did not stop the current owner from allowing them to enter and harass clients. In addition to the damages of $850,000 awarded to Little, the bar was ordered to pay partially for legal fees and interest on the personal injury lawsuit, bringing their total payment to around $970,000.

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$260,000 federal jury award for basketball beating

A federal jury recently awarded $250,000 to one of two men who sued NBA star Allen Iverson after they said they were beaten by his entourage at a Washington nightclub in 2005. The jury's verdict covers Marlin Godfrey's medical bills and pain and suffering, but jurors chose not to award punitive damages. Allegedly Godfrey and David Anthony Kittrell were beaten by Iverson's crew following their refusal to vacate the Eyebar club's VIP section for Iverson. The jury found that Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane was liable for assault and battery of Godfrey with a bottle amongst other items.

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$100,000 settlement reached for foster home abuse

A woman who was horribly abused in her Orange Park foster home in 1979 recently settled for $100,000. The woman is identified in court documents by the initials S.A.P. Neighbors called Clay County deputies in 1979 when they heard the 4-year-old S.A.P. and her sister screaming. Deputies found that the girls were severely physically abused and malnourished and living in a different foster home than the one they had been assigned. The settlement was reached nearly 30 years after the lawsuit was filed.

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$3 million to Beaten Night Club Manager

A Texas jury recently ordered Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' nephew to pay $3 million in connection with a 2001 nightclub incident. Friends of Jerry Jones Jr. and Cowboys attorney Jerry Mooty apparently began heckling and throwing fruit at a group of fashion models who were participating in a runway show. When the bouncers tried to throw them out, John Kenyon, the night club manager met them at the door, telling Mooty to stay out of the altercation. Mooty then shoved Kenyon out the nightclub entrance causing him to strike his head against the automobile. Kenyon, who sustained a brain injury, will receive only $1.3 million of the verdict because of an insurance agreement reached before the trial.

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$9 million to beating victim

A Texas jury awarded $9 million to a black man who suffered brain damage after he was beaten and dumped in field by four men in 2003. Billy Ray Johnson, 46 now lives in a nursing home on account of his injuries. Johnson was allegedly lured to an area where white teenagers went to drink, provided with alcohol, and taunted before being beaten. He was found unconscious on a fire ant mound and had suffered a serious concussion and brain hemorrhaging. Criminal charges were filed, but none of the attackers spent more than sixty days in jail.

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$550,000 award in domestic abuse case

Deborah Martin, a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her former husband, Ernest Lofgren, received a $550,000 award following a civil suit. The jury determined that Lofgren inflicted intentional damage when he beat Martin in their home, causing her extensive facial damage. The award includes $351,000 in punitive damages, and $200,000 in actual damages.

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$65,000 for Skull Fracture in Assault Case

A jury in an Athens County, OH Common Pleas Court awarded more than $65,000 to Harold Goings for damages in a 2003 assault case in Athens, OH. Goings had claimed that Christopher Hutchinson, 25, had hit him in the skull during a brawl outside a restaurant, and he now has three metal plates in his head. Goings claimed that his medical bills had exceeded $50k. Jurors rejected Hutchinson's claim that he had acted in self-defense against Goings.

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$180,000 to Martial Arts Expert Injured in Fight

A Superior Court in Fairfield County, CT awarded $180,000 to Martial Arts expert Earl Bracey, for injuries he sustained in a fight against Sean McNeil, Austin Bullock, and Donald Bullock. McNeil and the Bullocks ran over Bracey with a Jeep, severely lacerating his face and causing three herniated discs in his lower back. Bracey refused to use his fighting skills in the confrontation and claimed he was unable to work as a landscaper or mechanic.

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$26 million verdict in child abuse case

A jury awarded Marissa Amora $26 million after she was abused and beaten as a 2-year-old, causing severe brain damage. Amora's attorney claimed that the Department of Children and Family Services could have prevented the injury by recognizing and acting upon earlier signs of abuse. Amora now lives with an adoptive family, but she still cannot walk or swallow.

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$2.4 million settlement by judge in rape case

A Chicago judge determined a $2.4 million settlement to a woman who was sexually assaulted and raped by an acquaintance. That acquaintance, who received only a misdemeanor batter charge at the time, must pay the settlement to cover past and future treatment expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages. The assault took place on a college campus, in the dormitories.

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