State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) > Other Case-Related Topics

Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?

(1/6) > >>

FromBelow:
I read a post on another forum suggesting that since Trayvon was a minor his parents could be held responsible for the pain and suffering Trayvon inflicted on GZ. If GZ is granted SYG immunity or is acquitted could he sue Trayvon's parents for what their son did? Not very classy, but is it possible? What would the odds be of winning such a suit?

annoyedbeyond:
I have no idea at all...but it would almost be worth it just for the collective media s-storm.

cboldt:

--- Quote from: FromBelow on July 27, 2012, 03:01:06 AM ---I read a post on another forum suggesting that since Trayvon was a minor his parents could be held responsible for the pain and suffering Trayvon inflicted on GZ. If GZ is granted SYG immunity or is acquitted could he sue Trayvon's parents for what their son did? Not very classy, but is it possible? What would the odds be of winning such a suit?

--- End quote ---

If Zimmerman's account is true, he has a civil action for assault, and for battery.  He can sue, even if he loses his criminal trial, although losing the criminal trial makes it far less likely for him to prevail in a civil suit.

I think his chances of winning a civil suit are "okay" (if he is found immune or not guilty) although a jury might be hard pressed to assign liability payable by a family whose child was killed.  I'd put the odds at a 75% or better chance of winning.

Damages would be a hard fought part of the hypothetical trial.  Doctor bills and a token amount for pain would be easy to find, but the cost of a criminal defense, loss of ability to work, and personal security would be argued as unforeseeable consequential damages - or not assignable to Martin, rather being assigned to unsavory elements of the public and state government.

The general principle is that if Zimmerman was justified in his use of force, then Martin perpetrated a criminal act, and criminal acts of assault and battery are also torts under civil law.  Martin won't be criminally prosecuted, as he's dead, but his death does not extinguish the civil claim.

Zimmerman also has defamation claims against some of the press (e.g., Garvey Ashhurst for asserting that Zimmerman is "rightfully vilified")

FromBelow:

--- Quote from: cboldt on July 27, 2012, 05:32:04 AM ---I think his chances of winning a civil suit are "okay" (if he is found immune or not guilty) although a jury might be hard pressed to assign liability payable by a family whose child was killed.  I'd put the odds at a 75% or better chance of winning.

--- End quote ---

I thought that civil suits were decided by a judge? There are sometimes juries involved? I thought that juries were only used in criminal cases. Maybe I've just watched too much Judge Judy.

cboldt:

--- Quote from: FromBelow on July 27, 2012, 06:51:05 AM ---I thought that civil suits were decided by a judge? There are sometimes juries involved? I thought that juries were only used in criminal cases. Maybe I've just watched too much Judge Judy.

--- End quote ---

See Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 38 and Florida Rules of Civil procedure - Rule 1.430.

Small claims court (Judge Judy) doesn't have a jury.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version