North Carolina Appellate Court Upholds $3M Award for Plaintiff in Civil Battery Case

If you are the victim of a battery, you can bring a civil claim to recover damages that is separate from any criminal action pending against the person who battered you. The impact of a battery can be extremely severe and painful for the victim even after any physical injuries have healed. Being the victim of physical abuse can lead to anxiety, trouble sleeping, and loss of enjoyment of life. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers are standing by to assist you with understanding your potential right to recovery after being the victim of a battery. There is no shame in standing up for yourself and asserting your rights under the law.

In a recent claim, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered an appeal involving a battery claim. The facts of the case involved an altercation between the plaintiff and the defendant outside of a tool store. The men were neighbors. The defendant believed that the plaintiff made a complaint to the county that resulted in the county ordering the defendant’s parents to remove junk cars from their property. The defendant confronted the plaintiff in the tool store and accused him of being at the root of the issue and cursed at the plaintiff. The plaintiff cursed back, and the defendant later left the store. The men became involved in an altercation in the parking lot and the defendant fired one round at the plaintiff from his personal firearm. The plaintiff required surgery.

The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages in the complaint that he filed. The defendant denied the allegations and argued that he shot the plaintiff out of self-defense and that the plaintiff was chasing him through the parking lot. The lower court entered a directed verdict in the plaintiff’s favor on the battery claim. The jury then returned a verdict awarding plaintiff $1 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages. The defendant filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial, which the lower court denied. The defendant appealed.

On review, the appellate court upheld the award of damages for the plaintiff. It reviewed the elements of common law battery which are that the defendant caused bodily contact with the plaintiff intentionally, that the bodily contact caused pain or injury, and that the bodily injury occurred without the plaintiff’s consent. The appellate court reviewed the evidence in the record and concluded that there was no dispute that these elements were satisfied. The defendant intentionally shot at the plaintiff and the plaintiff would not have suffered the gunshot wound but for the defendant’s firing of his personal firearm.

At Maurer Law, we understand how stressful and chaotic being the victim of an intentional court can be for the victim and his or her family. Our seasoned team of Charlotte personal injury lawyers offers a free consultation to discuss your situation and whether we can assist you with recovering the compensation that you deserve. To schedule your appointment, call today at 1-888-258-1087 or contact us online to get started.

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