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Articles Posted in Assaults

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This morning, I saw some of the most gruesome video tape of an assault I have ever seen in my years as a personal injury lawyer. The video depicted a horrific assault of one man, pummelling a defenceless man who had been knocked unconscious from a series of punches to the head.  Even though the man being beaten lay motionless on the ground, he was still being punched repeatedly in the face. Unlike a Mixed Martial Arts fight, there was no referee to stop to beating. It continued for what seemed to be an eternity. This was rated “R” footage that would have made anyone cringe. Even a personal injury lawyer such as myself who has seen some pretty nasty images over the years.

As a result of the serious beating, the injured party sustained a fractured orbital bone, along with brain damage. This does not take in to consideration the bruising cuts to the victims face. He had to be rushed to hospital in Toronto following the attack, where he remained for 3 days following his discharge home.

In years past, this assault would have been described by the victim or any witnesses in words; based on foggy memory. Those memories get even foggier as time passes. If the victim or the witnesses had consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of the attack, then chances are those memories are even foggier.

Around 10 years ago, when injured parties and witnesses were asked to provide their best recollection of the events giving rise to the claim, all they had to go was based on these foggy memories, notes, or perhaps photos taken at the scene.

But all of that has changed over the past decade. Cameras have gotten smaller and smaller; and those cameras now have video capabilities. Every cell phone on the market today, with a few exceptions, have both photo capability and video capability. And there are now more cell phones on the planet than people. Cameras are so small today, and can be connected to almost any computer device, they can fit on any surface; from a dashboard cam on a car; to the back of a pen/pencil.

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One of the most interesting cases our law firm has ever handled, was a jail house assault matter in Sarnia Ontario.

The Sarnia Jail has been know for its overcrowding issues and violence. When you have too many people under one roof, things are going to get rowdy. When you have too many people under the same roof with poor supervision and deteriorating conditions, things are going to get bad QUICKLY. Nevermind the fact that none of those people in the jail want to be there in the first place.

And things sure did get bad for a client of ours. He was beaten repeatedly with a hunk of cement from a deteriorating jail house wall which was stuffed in to a pillow case to create a sling like weapon. The result was a traumatic brain injury, multiple orthopaedic injuries, along with permanent disfigurement to his fingers and ears. It wasn’t a pretty site.

Where were the guards in all of the commotion? How diid the guards not stop the beating, or prevent it from happening in the first place? Why didn’t the guards see an inmate with a hunk of cement wrapped in to a pillow case to begin with? How on earth does such a violent assaut take place on government premises?

All of these questions and more were asked by the lawyers trying this case.
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