A conviction in Fort Lauderdale serves as a reminder that a person can be charged in criminal court and sued in civil court for the exact same incident. The most famous example of this was O.J. Simpson who was found not guilty in criminal court for the murder of two people, and was found liable in civil court for the deaths of the same two people.
Recently it was made public that a Florida teenager has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail for an assault that caused a permanent brain injury for the teenager’s victim. It is a sad tale of being kicked and stomped on and is a story in which there are no happy endings.
The incident began with a rude and vulgar text message exchange between two teenagers who had never met. An 18-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl traded insulting messages for an unreported reason. A third teenager identified the 15-year-old to the older boy and the 15-year-old was allegedly stomped on and kicked in the head with steel-toed boots. Today she suffers from permanent brain damage.
Apparently the 18-year-old is also suffering from mental illness. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder which he apparently had at the time of the stomping incident. The 18-year-old’s older brother had recently committed suicide and it was the older brother’s boots that the younger brother was wearing.
In addition to 20 years in jail, the 18-year-old could be held liable for the personal injury to the 15-year-old. He is currently on a suicide watch.
Source: The News Tribune, “Teen gets 20 years in Fla. school stomping case,” Curt Anderson, Oct. 22, 2012
At our Miami law firm we represent those who have suffered personal injuries such as the traumatic brain injury mentioned in this post.