“Home Improvement’s” “Brad”…”Don’t Tase me Bro!”
Posted on Jul 9, 2008 in Celebrity Justice, National Issues, Personal Injury
TMZ reports that former child star Zachary Ty Bryan, who played Brad Taylor on “Home Improvement” is filing suit against Choice Hotels over an incident where Bryan was tased by hotel security in April. Zachary claims he was staying at a hotel in San Diego when he and a few friends went across the street to grab a Gatorade. When he came back just after midnight, Bryan’s attorney claims “the hotel wouldn’t let him upstairs, since the room wasn’t in his name.” Bryan’s attorney claims Zachary tried explaining his wife was in the room, but the hotel refused to call her. He claims an off-duty manager, who was not involved in the initial argument, came out of nowhere and tasered Zachary in the neck. Police would later arrive, however, no charges were filed. A hotel employee tells TMZ that “Zachary went nuts on the staff, a lot of alcohol was involved, and tasering the dude was the only safe bet”, Zachary is suing for damages in excess of $25,000.
What if you’ve been injured in a similar incident? Battery is a general intent offense. This means that the actor need not intend the specific harm that will result from the unwanted contact, but only to commit an act of unwanted contact. This also means that gross negligence or even recklessness may provide the required intent or (in criminal matters) “mens rea” to find a battery. A plaintiff or complainant in a case for battery does not have to prove an actual physical injury. Rather, the plaintiff must prove an unlawful and unpermitted contact with his or her person or property in a harmful or offensive manner. This, in and of itself, is deemed injurious. Conversely, the victim of a battery may file a civil lawsuit stemming from the same incident, in which the defendant is charged with the tort of battery. In such a case, damages are typically compensatory (a monetary award), along with special relief such as injunctive or punitive. Substantial harm is not required, but nonetheless, there must be palpable harm. Compensatory damages may be for either/both economic and non-economic (emotional) harm.