As reported by The Los Angeles Times, a man who was attacked and choked unconscious was awarded $7.4 million in a civil case. The lawsuit relates to an attack on Halloween 2015 in the Chatsworth area involving a 22-year old man, two off-duty firefighters, and three other men. The lawsuit highlights the importance of consulting with a California personal injury attorney whenever a person sustains an injury caused by another person or party.
Violent Assault Caught on Video
On Halloween night in 2015, Samuel Chang visited his grandmother and decided to hand out candy to children in his grandmother’s neighborhood. Five men approached Chang. A video of the event shows the men following Chang accusing him of giving drugged candy to children. They surround Chang and one of the men, off-duty firefighter Eric Carpenter, places Chang in a chokehold for several minutes while other men held Chang down. The men tried to revive Chang after he lost consciousness. Chang was placed in the hospital and suffered severe head trauma, kidney failure, and other injuries.
Firefighter Allowed to Plead Down Criminal Charges
Eric Carpenter pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, even though the original charge was a felony assault charge that carried up to seven years in prison. Carpenter did not serve any jail time and retained his job as a firefighter. Two other men involved pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges and received no jail time.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed Against the Attackers
Chang filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2017 against his attackers. The lawsuit alleges battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. The lawsuit named all five men involved in the attack. The lawsuit settled for $7.4 million without the defendants admitting any wrongdoing.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are criminal charges. However, a victim of assault and battery may also have a civil claim against the person or persons who committed the act. As in the above case, the criminal charges and the civil claims are two separate matters. While evidence from the criminal case may also be used in the civil lawsuit, the elements required to prove liability in a civil lawsuit are different from the required elements for a criminal conviction. Likewise, a person may file a civil claim for assault or battery even if the person was never charged with a crime.
If someone harms you or threatens harm, you could have a valid claim for damages. Compensation for an assault and battery lawsuit could be substantial, as in the above case. The amount of compensation depends on numerous factors, including the type of injuries, the severity of the injuries, the financial losses, and the conduct of all parties.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney
If another person causes you injury or harm, you may want to consult a California personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and the options for recovering compensation for the claim. Schedule a consult with the legal team at J&Y Law as soon as possible to discuss your claim. Do not delay contacting an attorney because your time to file a claim is limited.