This is a discussion on FL man who shot teen prankster liable for damages in civil suit within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; The Palm Beach Post reports here that Jay Levin was found liable for damages of $750,000. The jury of one man and five women had ...
The Palm Beach Post reports here that Jay Levin was found liable for damages of $750,000.
The jury of one man and five women had deliberated longer than it had seemed expected, asking questions of the judge about just when "self defense" kicks in (because the scumbag plaintiffs' lawyer Bob Montgomery had been second-guessing the defendant's actions leading up to the shooting).
Well, this story says that Levin will no longer face the possibility of punitive damages (Montogomery had said he would seek $25,000,000!). So this is both a victory and a defeat for Mr. Levin, who was put into a difficult, precarious situation by the actions of the deceased midnight prankster Mark Drewes.
I feel that the parents were wrong to seek damages when their kid created the scenario in which he was killed. I can just imagine what the jury room was like. It was probably the man holding out against awarding the parents any money, and the women "sympathizing" with the grieving mother (who was allowed all throughout the trial to sit 20 feet from the jury, crying!). I really suspect that some horse-trading went on, there.
I'm glad that Levin plans to appeal. He should. He shouldn't owe any money in this case.
Oh, I want to mention that Montgomery made statements prior to the trial that he wanted to "make him [Levin] bleed" He even was irritated that Levin's insurance company agreed to pay his legal fees, stating that he would sue the insurance company for "interfering" (even though it's completely their legal prerogative to pay on behalf of their insured)!
How will/does the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law come into play in this case?
Any lawyer types care to venture a guess.
Hope he comes out better on his appeal. A shot in the dark sure can cost you a lot of money. I wouldn't shoot any body in the dark unless he was shooting at me or my family. I don't know all the details but sort of sounds like those hunters who take bush shots. The kid was playing a dangerous game and got caught up in it.The mother and father should have had their kid under control and maybe they wouldnt be crying now. Mr Levan should have identified his target before shooting. He is very lucky that his insurance company was willing to foot the cost of his trial.
good point, Tom G.
I dont know enought about the circumstances to make any judgements. Yeah, the price of a Surefire is minimal compared to what he's facing now. Damn.
The kid was playing ding dong ditch....NOT a dangerous game. He was outside the residence, he was running away and was shot in the back.
From reading, there was no threat of life, no one was in immediate danger. I'd say the accountant is in a world of a **** storm.
"If all you carry around is a hammer....everything in the world looks like a nail to you!"
Not enough details to make heads or tails of this case, at this point in the game."It is likely the strange noises that he said aroused him from his bed shortly after midnight on Oct. 25, 2003 were sounds Drewes made as he attempted to attach fishing line to Levin's door-knocker as part of a game of ding-dong-ditch."
Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy. That the innocent be in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.
Surreptitious or furtive noises don't equate to life-threatening danger. Unknown if the actual reality of what the defendant was hearing/seeing went beyond this. Unknown if the deceased was attempting to enter the home. If simply making noise and rooting around the outside, it doesn't seem like a threat to family members could be taking place.
An example of a stellar reason to remain indoors, to not shoot through doors, to not exit the home when "furtive" noises are heard, to call the cavalry and stay put ... not only to remain safer, but to avoid situations of mistaken-identity shootings under the auspices of "self defense" that may well end up destroying a family in addition to the deceased.
I do feel sorry for the accountant, though his actions along with all of our actions are viewed under a microscope by the media and the public.
I wasn't there and I don't know nothin'! But...Shot in the back...Outside his home? If you just woke up and your mind wasn't alert yet...Still...shot in the back..Outside the home? It sucks for all involved.
As a kid I used to do that to folks doors but we called them "Knock knocks".
Dumb prank by the kid and a not too smart gun owner.
I fully agree. I can second-guess the man and arrive at the same sort of conclusion. If he really feared that there was someone about to break in, he was right to get his gun; he should have then gotten on the phone to the police, shouted that the police were on their way, and waited in case the door was penetrated. He could have positioned himself to have a clear shot from cover or concealment, should anyone have breached.
But I can't root for the parents even if I think Levin could have done more sensible things; and I sure as hell despise their lawyer, Montgomery, an ambulance-chasing money-grubbing gun-owner-hater.
One thing that was made clear even in the reports in the far-left Palm Beach Post was that experts (several of them) testified about how easily the kid could have been facing Levin and turned away just as the decision to fire went from brain to index finger. Ayoob Files have discussed this, too. Just because the hit was in the back does not mean that the decision was made to shoot in the back, that's for sure. The fact is, the jury didn't find that he had done intentional harm, and that is part of why they are not awarding punitive damages, as I understand it.
You never know who it might have been in the yard. It could have been a cop chaseing the kid. This is what causes tradgeys like this . If you don't know what your shooting at don't shoot. It sounds like Jay Levin was a little too fast on the trigger.