Type of Case: Admiralty
Court: Portsmouth Circuit Court
Attorneys: James L. Chapman IV and Steve Stancliff, Norfolk
A steward on a tanker under contract with the Military Sealift Command alleged he was beaten and sexually assaulted by South Korean policemen while on shore leave in the port city of Yosu.
Plaintiff contended the defendants fired him on the ground that he was intoxicated and failed to report the assault to Korean authorities and provide medical treatment because they feared repercussions from the allegation that Korean policemen were involved in the attack.
The jury awarded $20 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitives.
The trial judge found the award “appallingly excessive,” struck the punitive damages and ordered the plaintiff to accept $2 million or submit to a new trial.