The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld a 2011 verdict by a Clarke County jury, which awarded more than $1 million compensation for a Las Vegas parking lot injury to the family of a man who later died of his injuries.
In June 2004, retired Air Force Major Michael Born (51) was attacked in the parking lot of the Las Vegas Wal-Mart by Raymond Garrett while attempting to change the headlight on his car. Born was knocked to the ground by the much larger Garrett, who robbed the retired Major of his wallet and then fled the scene.
Born was rushed to hospital in a coma after striking his head heavily on the ground when he fell. He died two weeks later from his injuries. Raymond Garrett – who was out on bail awaiting an attempted murder trial at the time of the attack – was subsequently convicted of murder and given a life sentence.
Born´s widow and his two daughters made a claim for compensation for the Las Vegas parking lot injury against Wal-Mart and their security company Wackenhut and, in February 2011, a Clarke County jury found the security company 100% liable for failing to protect Major Born from the attack and his untimely death.
The jury awarded each of Major Born´s widow and each of his two daughters $250,000 compensation for a Las Vegas parking lot injury and ordered that a further $276,000 be paid to Major Born´s estate. Wal-Mart was cleared of any negligence, having paid Wackenhut to provide security and deter crime on their premises.
Wackenhut appealed the jury verdict on the grounds that the attack on Major Born was unavoidable as the unarmed Wackenhut offices are trained to observe and report, but not intervene. District Judge Mark Denton refused the request for a new trial and Wackenhut appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
At the Nevada Supreme Court, Judges Gibbons, Douglas and Saitta found that a new trial was unwarranted, and upheld the original jury decision to award Major Born´s family more than $1 million compensation for a Las Vegas parking lot injury.