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Cambridge Man Kicks Nun in Somerville

This isn’t your classic personal injury story but it’s worth a read. A man in Somerville has been arrested for kicking a nun, reports Wicked Local.

So, where’s the personal injury aspect of this story, you ask? After all, an arrest is a criminal case. True. But he was arrested for assault. And assault can also be a tort, i.e. a personal injury claim.

Let's back up here and go back to the story. A bloke by the name of Shawn S. Byron was charged with assault and battery on October 17, after police were called regarding a kerfuffle at the Jeanne Jugan Residence at the Little Sisters of the Poor convent, according to Patch.

Bryon was chasing a nun in a wheelchair, while apparently screaming racial epithets.

He then allegedly kicked her with his sneaker. The nun was not harmed too badly in the whole commotion, but nevertheless, let's talk about torts.

Just because someone is arrested for assault or battery, it doesn't necessarily mean that the victim's only recourse is police. In fact, a civil lawsuit and a criminal lawsuit are two separate lawsuits. A victim can still sue the offender for money damages if the offender has been arrested.

The tort of battery involves the harmful or offensive touching of another. It's that simple. So a personal injury claim for battery can be brought in such a case.

Of course, there are many other aspects of a personal injury claim. For one, you have to determine your ability to collect on a claim. You won't collect any damages if the person you're suing has empty pockets.

Another thing to consider is that there needs to be some sort of injury. This doesn't need to be a physical injury (although it helps to have something to show). An emotional injury works in a personal injury claim for battery as well. But the injury usually needs to be quantified -- that is, it needs to be measurable and ascertainable, to some degree, in order to collect damages.

The nun wasn't injured too badly, reports say. And in this case, it's unlikely that anyone will see a civil lawsuit, since the offender was reportedly a homeless man.

It seems as though in this case, justice may be served to him through the criminal system.

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