Woman Gets $800K for ‘Dracula’ Bite
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia court jury awarded $800,000 to a woman who said she was bitten on the breast by an employee of a Dairy Queen restaurant.
Brenda K. Chappelear testified that she went into the restaurant in Ashland about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2001, and asked to use the phone book.
When Ayman Ahmed Hasaballa and another employee at the counter asked her whether she had plans for the evening, she retreated to a booth to get away from them, she said. Hasaballa slid into the booth beside her and pulled her sweater down, scratching her chest, and bit her on the breast.
``I am like Dracula,″ Chappelear said he told her.
She left the restaurant and immediately called police. Policemen said they saw a scratch and bite mark and Chappelear was obviously distraught. Her attorneys presented evidence that she went into a severe depression as a result of the attack.
She incurred $25,000 in medical bills and lost $5,000 in income as a result of the attack, the lawyers said.
Hasaballa said he talked with Chappelear but denied touching her. He was acquitted of a criminal charge of assaulting her.
The jury found that W.A. Enterprises Inc., owner of the Dairy Queen franchise, was also liable because Hasaballa had not been fired after he allegedly assaulted a female employee in the restaurant’s refrigerator six months earlier.
Hasaballa was acquitted of criminal assault in that case as well.
The jury on Tuesday awarded $600,000 in compensatory damages, and $100,000 each in punitive damages against Hasaballa and the company.