Thursday, June 29, 2017

Man beaten in parking lot after leaving Daily Double wins $3.6M judgment

GLENS FALLS — A man who was brutally beaten after leaving a South Street bar in 2012 has won a nearly $3.66 million judgment against his attacker.

Jason Aiken was beaten by Jesse J. Tracy on Dec. 22, 2012 in the South Street municipal parking lot near the Daily Double.

Aiken and Tracy had exchanged words as they left the bar. Aiken was serving as a designated driver and trying to help an intoxicated friend into a vehicle, when Tracy punched and kicked Aiken to the point of unconsciousness. Tracy repeatedly struck Aiken after he fell to the ground and only stopped after friends told Tracy they believed Aiken was dead.

Tracy, a mixed martial arts fighter, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced in June 2013 to 6 years in state prison. He is up for a parole hearing this December and could be released in February, according to the state inmate information website.

Aiken, now 30, required multiple surgeries to repair facial fractures and nearly died of an unintentional morphine overdose by staff at Albany Medical Center. He lost 50 pounds, suffers constant pain and has developed Type I diabetes, according to his mother’s statement at Tracy’s sentencing.

Aiken’s lawyer, Peter Moschetti, filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court of Washington County in May 2014. In addition to naming Tracy, he named the bar in the lawsuit, claiming Tracy was served alcohol to the point he became intoxicated and that led to his aggressive and loud behavior.

Nolan awarded Aiken $2.5 million for future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, $1 million for pain and suffering to date and $155,252 in medical expenses for a total of $3,655,252.

Moschetti acknowledged Thursday that his client likely would not get much money from Tracy, who remains incarcerated at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

But Moschetti said the judgment is a good reminder to Tracy of what he did and said Aiken will get 10 percent of any assets Tracy acquires.

Tracy had filed a motion to dismiss the case on a technicality — a typographical error in the paperwork that incorrectly listed the year of the incident as 2013 instead of 2012. A judge denied that request. After Tracy did not respond to additional court paperwork, Supreme Court Judge Thomas Nolan granted a motion for summary judgment against Tracy. In a decision dated June 19, Nolan set the damages.

Moschetti said his client is doing as well as can be expected.

“With all those facial fractures, he has a lot of issues. His eyesight is better. The sad part is he is in constant pain all through his face,” Moschetti said.

Aiken, who lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts, said in an affidavit “there has not been a day in my life since then where my face does not throb with pain as a result of the physical damage that was done.” He also suffers migraines three or four days per week, he said.

At the time of the assault, Aiken was working at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts and was in the Air Force Reserves. He had come home for the 2012 holidays to visit friends and family, according to his affidavit.

Aiken had to be medically discharged from the Air Force in 2015. He continues to work on the Air Force Base in a civilian capacity, according to Moschetti.

“It’s a terrible incident. Jason’s a really nice kid. I’m glad the court recognized what he went through,” Moschetti said.

The brutal assault prompted the city to crack down on rowdy behavior along South Street and led to a successful push to change the last call time for bars in the city from 4 a.m. to 3 a.m.

The case against the Daily Double is still pending. Moschetti guessed that the case will go to trial in the spring of 2018.

Daily Double owner RoseAnn Stalker sad in a Facebook message that Tracy was not outside the bar when the incident occurred and to check with police. She declined to comment further.

The Daily Double has had other problems. Its license was suspended by the state Liquor Authority for 15 days in August 2015 because of complaints filed by Glens Falls Police of assaults and disturbances at the property.

The state fined the Daily Double liquor license holder $3,500 in May 2013 and $6,500 in March 2014 because of disorderly conduct, illegal sale of “Jell-O” shots and underage drinking.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

$10.75M: Bob Barlow paralyzed wins Key West lawsuit after claiming shallow pool no warnings

Bob Barlow a paralyzed Massachusetts man is awarded $10.75 after suing a Key West resort after claiming shallow pool he dove into had no warning signs.

Bob Barlow a 42 year old Massachusetts father of two has been awarded $10.75 million settlement after suing a Key West resort after having been left paralyzed diving into a shallow pool.

The lawsuit against Galleon Resort and Marina came after the married father of two visited the Key West, Florida resort in April 2015 only for tragedy to strike.

At the time, Barlow and his family were vacationing at the resort, amidst 40th birthday celebrations, when he decided to dive from the Sunset Tiki Bar deck into the water below.

It was at that moment, the former army veteran who had fought in Iraq, struck his head on the concrete bottom and suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down reported the dailymail.

According to a GoFundMe page that was initially created for him in 2015, Barlow didn’t realize that the water below the bar was as shallow as it was.

He then sued both company owners for not having appropriate signage in the area.

According to his lawsuit, neither company had posted warning signs of dangers such as diving for customers to see.

‘Nor were there any barriers or appropriate guardrails to prevent Tiki Bar patrons and/or hotel guests of visitors from diving off the deck into the shallow water,’ the suit says.

So severe is the spinal injury that Barlow incurred the father is unable to breathe without a ventilator.

Barlow’s lawyer, Stuart Grossman, made the announcement of the $10.75 million settlement on Thursday.

His attorney said the bar also lacked signs about diving into shallow water.

The Galleon at Key West Inc, the Galleon at Key West Community Association Inc and the Galleon Resort Condominium Association Inc agreed to pay a combined $9,750,000 through insurers, according to the Miami Herald.

According to the suit, the Cook Group, who owns the Sunset Tiki Bar, will pay $1 million.

The settlement has since led to some wondering what culpability, Barlow may have played in his misfortune, after having elected to dive into an area of the pool the man wasn’t certain of its depth levels.

That said, others wonder, the resort and Tikki bar were held to a standard to stave off potential injury to guests by notifying them of what most would have assumed were safe standards being enforced.