Nose Bite Victim's Court Victory Is Hollow
Jul. 22, 1988
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A jury has awarded $70,000 to a man who had part of his nose bitten off by a Christmas Eve reveler.
Michael Nardella, a furnace repairman from Branford, lost a portion of his nose in 1982 in an attack by Vern Tolman of New Haven during a party at another person's home.
A Superior Court jury this week ordered Tolman to pay Nardella $70,000 but rejected an additional claim that the homeowner had a legal duty to prevent the attack.
The jury apparently decided the attack was so bizarre the homeowner could not have foreseen it, said Nardella's attorney, Steven Jacobs.
However, Tolman is unemployed and owns no property. ''We have a $70,000 judgment that isn't worth a penny, for all intents and purposes,'' Jacobs said.
Tolman pleaded guilty to assault and was placed on five years' probation, Nardella's lawyer said.
Nardella has spent $11,500 on surgery and requires $8,000 more in medical care, Jacobs said. As partial compensation, he said, the state Criminal Injuries Compensation Board paid Nardella $8,500.