Assault / Battery: Injured

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Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are not just areas of criminal law-they're also part of tort law. This means that you might be able to bring personal injury lawsuits if you've been the victim of assault or battery. Although quite similar, assault and battery have some subtle differences. Assault is an intentional threat or attempt to inflict injury on a person, whereas battery is the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without consent.

The one major difference between assault or battery as a crime and as a tort lies in the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the jury would have to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a tort case, also called a civil case, the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence.

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News of children, teens, and even adults being sexually assaulted or even raped, by religious leaders is unfortunately something that appears in the news too often. Just last week, a lawsuit was filed in North Carolina alleging that a youth counselor who was attending seminary training abused his authority and attempted to groom a teenage girl for sexual assault.

The lawsuit alleges that the counselor urged the teenager to confide in him, especially when it came to sexual urges, so that they could talk about those urges to supposedly resist them. However, when the counselor was invited into the girl’s family home for Christmas dinner, the situation quickly escalated. After eating, he took the teenager on a drive, where he parked the car at the church, then allegedly raped her. If this wasn’t bad enough, the counselor is alleged to have continued to manipulate the teenager, by telling her that people would turn against her, her reputation would be damaged, and no one would believe her, all so that she would continue to have sex with him.

A former Team USA doctors for the Olympic gymnastics team, along with the USA Gymnastics organization, and Michigan State University, are currently facing a civil lawsuit as a result of decades of alleged sexual abuse by the one doctor against minor athletes. Nearly 20 former and current athletes have alleged that Dr. Lawrence Nassar sexually abused them while he was conducting medical examinations on them.

The allegations stem back to the 1990s, and include claims that the doctor would grope and molest athletes during medical examinations, and would even digitally penetrate them as part of bogus procedures. In addition to the civil lawsuit, Nassar is facing federal criminal charges for possession of child pornography. The child pornography charges allege that Nassar possessed child pornography from 2003 to 2016. If convicted on those charges alone, Nassar could be facing anywhere from 5 to 40 years in prison.

In some limited situations, an individual can be sued for yelling at or for insulting another person. While the threshold for when an insult or scream crosses the line is rather hazy, there are some clearly defined lines that are helpful.

For instance, if the yelling is threatening violence, or is done in a way where the listener fears for their physical safety, there are likely possible legal consequences. Not only is the act of making a threat of violence illegal in every state criminally (so long as the threat is credible), but it can also lead to civil torts, such as assault, or intentional inflection of emotional distress.

Walmart has long been associated with low prices, but the megaretailer is also becoming synonymous with high crime rates. While Bloomberg recently noted that staff cuts may have contributed to over 200 violent crimes at Walmart locations in 2016 (including attempted kidnappings and multiple stabbings, shootings, and murders), watchdog groups who have been charting crime on company property for the past decade see the same old story.

So are criminals responsible for their own dangerous behavior, or can Walmart be held liable for crime in its stores and parking lots?

Cases of molestation or sexual assault by a doctor are especially heinous. These cases are just as shocking when a teacher, pastor, or police officer commits a similar act. What makes these types of crimes so bad is the violation of the public trust, as well as the likelihood of there being multiple victims.

Unfortunately, these types of crimes occur all too often. Just this past week, a California doctor was arrested for allegedly assaulting multiple patients.

A Stanford graduate student has filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming it failed to properly respond to multiple allegations of violence and sexual assault concerning another student, allowing him to prey on at least four female students during his undergraduate years.

The lawsuit also claims that, when Stanford finally found the student responsible for "serious sexual misconduct" in 2014 (three years after his first reported assault) the school failed to enforce its own campus ban on the student, referred to as "Mr. X" in the lawsuit, and that he had been seen back on campus as recently as February.

Whether you call it fake news or conspiracy theory, allegations of imagined crimes can have very real consequences. Take the case of Edgar Welch, a father of two who drove six hours from his home in North Carolina to a Washington, D.C.-area pizza restaurant to investigate unfounded claims that it was involved in a child sex-slave ring led by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Welch's investigation involved walking into the popular pizzeria with a loaded AR-15 assault rifle and firing it inside the restaurant. Fortunately, he was arrested before anyone was injured, but his actions, and those of others who bought into the "Pizzagate" myth, have many wondering about the legal liability for publishers of fake news.

It can be one of the most painful injuries imaginable. And of course it's right in the middle of your face. A broken nose can be an expensive injury as well, between immediate medical care, missed time at work, and any reconstructive surgery that might be necessary.

Generally speaking, a broken nose can either be the result of an accident, or an intentional act. And in either case you may be able to sue for your injuries. Here's a look at how.

Doctors have recently observed that domestic violence survivors are prone to the same neurological condition that retired NFL players are suffering: CTE. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative condition that causes cognitive decline, loss of muscle and emotional control, headaches, memory loss, and more. CTE is understood to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

While CTE would seem to primarily affect athletes who play contact sports, the results, showing that domestic violence victims frequently suffer from the same condition at similar or higher rates, are troubling. Studies have shown that 60 percent of domestic assault victims are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.

Joyce Little-Thomas was recovering from respiratory treatment at Select Specialty Hospital in 2009 when she was sexually assaulted and raped by Warren Butler, a certified nursing assistant at the facility. Little-Thomas sued the Augusta-based hospital for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of Butler, on the grounds that the hospital knew he could be a danger to patients and did nothing.

Her lawsuit was finally settled last month, on the eve of trial, with Select Specialty paying an undisclosed amount to avoid a trial. So how is the hospital on the hook for its employees' actions? Here's a look.