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A Fort Bend County jury sent a message to anyone thinking of criminally assaulting an elderly person: You will pay for it. After a 2-hour deliberation, a jury came back with a $4 million verdict award for Barbara White, a now 80-year-old woman, who was assaulted by her neighbor more than 10 years ago.
On February 20, 2009, 70-year-old Barbara White woke up in a pool of her own blood. She was missing teeth and her larynx was fractured. Earlier that day, she placed a letter on neighbor Keith Wilson’s door asking him to quiet the ongoing nuisance of incessant barking from his dogs.
Wilson had a history of violence, domestic abuse and more. According to the lawsuit, in response to the letter, Wilson and his wife confronted Barbara and eventually trespassed into her home and assaulted her. The first punch knocked her titanium implants out—a feat her dentist later stated he didn’t believe possible. His second punch fractured her larynx.
This all happened in front of Barbara’s 75-year-old paraplegic husband, Larry White. Larry struggled in his attempts to stop the bleeding. He placed a towel in Barbara’s mouth where her teeth used to be and called 911.
Attorneys Jacob Mancha and Nick Merz served as co-counsel for White during the trial.
“Keith Wilson only got a slap on the wrist in criminal courts and served probation for his actions,” Mancha said. “But today, the jury told the world that this reprehensible behavior is not something we will ever tolerate as a society and allowed a verdict of $4,000,000. Sometimes civil justice is the only justice.” Mancha said.
The Whites filed their lawsuit against the Wilsons soon after the assault. The elderly coupled sued for the assault, trespassing and harassment they endured from Wilson and his wife dating back to at least 2002.
“This has been a long time coming,” Merz said. “The Carlson Law Firm has spent almost a decade working with these clients as the defendants dragged the process out. We are really proud that our patience paid off and this elderly couple was able to get the justice they deserved.”