According to al.com, Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain has settled a lawsuit from 2008 alleging that he hit a student twice with his car. According to the story, the plaintiff in this incident was seeking punitive damages of at least $75,000.00 as well as medical bills and likely also general damages.
To explain a complicated process as simply as possible, there are three types of awards in cases - medical bills, general damages - which include things like pain and suffering or a claim that marital relations suffered due to the injury, and punitive damages - which is basically an additional amount on top of the other monies paid as punishment because the defendant's actions were so egregious.
If the plaintiff was seeking $75,000 in punitive damages it's likely the claim for the pain and suffering was much, much higher - especially if, as the article says, he is claiming permanent injuries.
The settlement of this case means that McClain and his team can focus on the lawsuit involving an incident that occured while he was with the Raiders - the plaintiff claims that McClain punched him, threatened to kill him and fired a gun near his ear, partially deafening him.
The trial for the second incident is set to go to trial May 17th. It seems likely this case will also settle.
In my professional career as an insurance adjuster for injury claims, I've frequently been involved with discussion as to whether a case should be settled or go to trial.
There are many reasons to settle. Trial is inherently risky as both parties are taking their control of the situation and putting in the hands of 12 of their peers. It's very expensive. It's also extremely time consuming, which is bad for someone like McClain who has certain job responsibilities that he'll need to be present for.
If McClain must take too much time to go to trial, his professional career could suffer, a fact that his legal team will certainly stress.
Finally, it carries a certain bit of embarrassment as facts, statements and other evidence is introduced by both sides in order to discredit their opponent and carry favor with the jury.
All of these facts make it likely that a settlement resolution will be sought be all parties involved. While there are times in which trial is either prudent or necessary, this appears unlikely to be the case.
There are strengths on both sides of the argument. For the plaintiff, McClain was arrested and the police officers' opinions and testimony will carry some weight. On McClain's side, there is no clear evidence of what happened. While he was arrested he has pleaded not guilty and I have some belief that it will difficult for the plaintiff to prove that he did what was alleged when his attorneys will be attempting to throw suspicion elsewhere.
In a civil trial, like this suit, the plainitiff does not have to prove that the defedent is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but instead a preponderance of the evidence, which is easier to prove. It's the reason that OJ Simpson was found not guilty in a criminal trial - beyond a reasonable doubt - but was found guilty in a civil trial - because the preponderance of the evidence was that he had committed the murders.
Even so, the odds on guess is that the claim settles. McClain has too much to lose and the plaintiff's attorney will stress to him that it's better to get an amount of money he knows he can be satisfied with instead of risking it all in court.
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The guy is an idiot. Unfortunately he's damaged his trade value immeasurably so it's probably better just to hold onto him for now and hope he learns something from this stupid adventure. I'd put the odds really low on that - maybe 10% - but he might have a good season and we can trade his ass next year.
This picture still pisses me off. If he's such a bad ass to pull a gun on someone than act all nonchalant about getting busted where is that intensity on the field?! Getting blown out of his gap responsibilities or getting burned on pass coverage (Megatron not included) and Slowlando always has a fu*king indifferent look on his face. If youre a nutcase good, now let's see it out on the field!.. Make or break season to say the least
If we are playing on sticking with a 4-3 defense I would like to see us trade McClain to the Colts for Pat Angerer. McClain would be better suited to the 3-4 and Angerer is to undersized for the 3-4 and be a lot better suited to the 4-3 which the Colts have been using previously.
@morestickum if he wants to run a 3-4 at times, you can bank on it. i say DROP HIM and get EJ Henderson in here.. just my two cents.
@nilbymouth Interesting trade scenario.....Angerer is undersized, but he is a really tough guy. Plays with the fire of a Giordano, but is a lot more talented.......What frustrates me the most, is that McClain has so much natural ability, that it is an unbelievable shame he continues on with this "gangsta" attitude of his. Hopefully he grows up soon and realizes that he could be throwing away a potentially awesome career if he continues to go down the path he is on...
He is super tough. And a very sure tackler due to his great technique and would look great in the Silver and Black. I was hoping for Angerer in the draft (JPP in the first and Angerer in the second).
I wonder if we could even trade Kelly and McClain for Angerer and Freeney (who is rumored to be on the trade block). With the Colts going to a 3-4 they will need a 3-4 DE which Kelly would be able to play. A front seven of Freeney and Shaughnessy at DE with Houston and Seymour at DT, Angerer at ILB and Wheeler and Curry at OLB could be very solid.