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Porter v. Stafford

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

June 27, 2017

CORIANDER PORTER, Plaintiff
v.
TIMOTHY STAFFORD, Defendant

          Plaintiff's Counsel Christian Foster Esq Terry Garmey & Associates LLC.

          Pro Se Defendant Timothy Stafford.

          ORDER

          Thomas D. Warren Justice, Superior Court.

         The court held a hearing on June 8 and 20, 2017 in the above-captioned case to consider the damages to be awarded to plaintiff Coriander Porter for future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages. Ms. Porter was represented by counsel. Defendant Timothy Stafford represented himself.

         Liability for compensatory and punitive damages was previously determined based on Porter's unopposed motion for summary judgment.

         The court finds as follows:

         1. Ms. Porter is entitled to $10, 000 for future therapy to address the emotional trauma she experienced.[1]

         2. Ms. Porter did not receive any significant physical injury in the assault. She is entitled to $2, 500 for physical pain and suffering inflicted by the assault.

         3. Notwithstanding the absence of significant physical injury, the court finds credible the testimony of Ms. Porter that she suffered extreme and severe emotional distress at the time of the assault. She feared for her life then and frequently relives that experience and that fear now.

         4. The court also finds credible the testimony of Ms. Porter and the other witnesses her counsel presented that the assault by Stafford - against the backdrop of a relationship that had become increasingly emotionally abusive and marked by threats of violence as Ms. Porter began to extricate herself - has had an extremely severe and lasting psychological effect on Ms. Porter, resulting even two and one-half years after the assault in significant changes in her personality, anxiety, hypervigilance, self-imposed isolation and withdrawal, and inability to engage in activities that used to provide her with joy and satisfaction.

         5. These effects are continuing. The evidence with respect to Ms. Porter's prior life suggests that she is a sufficiently strong person and has sufficient resilience to eventually put this behind her, but that has not happened yet and will not happen in the immediate future.

         6. Accordingly, Ms. Porter is awarded $185, 000 in damages for past, present, and future emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.

         7. Ms. Porter has previously been awarded $7800 in compensatory damages for past medical expenses and lost earnings. Adding that amount to the compensatory damages determined above, Ms. Porter is awarded a total of $ 205, 300 in compensatory damages.

         8. As noted above, Mr. Stafford has previously been found to have engaged in conduct that was either malicious or so outrageous that malice may be presumed, entitling Ms. Porter to punitive damages. All the evidence at the damages hearing reinforced a finding by clear and convincing evidence that the conduct was sufficiently malicious and outrageous to warrant punitive ...


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