Jul 012013

Criminal law update: Chicago Bull’s legend, Scottie Pippen, sends victim to hospital and doesn’t get arrested?

Chicago sports teams often make national news.  The Chicago Blackhawks brought home the Stanley cup in 2010 and once again are national champions! The Chicago Bulls were also national champions many times over when Michael Jordon and Scottie Pippen were part of the team. In 2010, Pippen made national news when he was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of fame.  He has once again made headlines when he allegedly beat a man outside a restaurant.  Pippen claimed the man was harassing him and his family while they were dining at a Malibu restaurant. According to reports, Pippen tried ignoring the man, but agreed to pose for a picture. The man later demanded an autograph outside the restaurant and when Pippen refused, the man became upset and exchanged words with Pippen and spit on Pippen’s daughter. Pippen snapped and beat the man, ultimately sending him to the hospital. The police spoke to Pippen and decided not to arrest Pippen for battery, but this is probably not the end of this case.

Even though Pippen may not be charged with battery, the interesting thing is that the same action can result in both a civil action and criminal charges.  We saw a famous example of this when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder, yet found liable in a civil suit filed by the victim’s family. So even though police may never arrest Pippen, he will most likely see a civil suit by the victim.

A civil battery is a harmful or offensive contact with a person that results from the defendant’s intent to cause the contact or to cause an apprehension of imminent contact. A civil trial seeks to make the plaintiff whole for damages caused by the defendant’s actions. The plaintiff must prove damages and that these damages were caused by the wrongful act of the defendant. There are three types of civil damages: compensatory damages, which are most common, are also called special damages and reimburse the plaintiff for losses or damages; pain and suffering are also called general damages, which are not easily measured; and punitive damages are rare and usually awarded for gross negligence, as a form of civil punishment and to give the plaintiff some type of payment for the damages caused. People often do not sue for a civil battery because the defendant usually doesn’t have much money. It’s just not worth it. However, this is a good exception since the accused has some deep pockets! 

So do you want to learn more? If so, then sign up for the AIPS Criminal law online paralegal class!  To find out more information on the Criminal law online paralegal class visit the curriculum page of the AIPS website (www.aips.com) at  http://www.aips.com/advanced-courses/course-descriptions/


Janet Russeth, J.D. AIPS Instructor

Janet Russeth, J.D.
AIPS Instructor


  •  July 1, 2013
  •  Posted by at 12:10 pm
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