Indian-American sibling get USD 9mn settlement in assault case

New York: An Indian-American brother-sister duo has been awarded record USD 9 million in damages for severe injuries sustained when they were attacked by metal bats during a brawl with two men in a night club here in 2005.

Anuj Sapra and Arti Sapra won the judgement in Manhattan Supreme Court for the incident at the city club when the two men misbehaved with them and later beat them up with baseball bats.

The siblings' Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra said that the case "represents the serious fallout of New York clubs regularly serving under-age children excessive amounts of liquor, and such drunken state coupled with immature judgement, becoming a violent trigger for serious injury, or worse, near-death."

The court ruled against firm Ten's Cabaret, which owned the club, and awarded compensatory and punitive damages of over USD 8 million for Anuj Sapra and over USD 640,000 for his sister. Batra said the Sapras were harassed and assaulted by Mohammad Abdul-Shakoor and Mohammad Asif who were "under-age" but were still "illegally" served liquor by the club.

Batra said while it took time, justice has been served to the Sapras after "traversing many a legal hurdle to get to this point." In the January 2005 incident, Shakoor and Asif misbehaved with Arti Sapra and when her brother intervened he was attacked by them.

Outside the club, Anuj and Arti were chased down by Shakoor and Asif who attacked Anuj with the metal baseball bat, striking him repeatedly in the head and face. Arti, seeking to help her brother, was also attacked with the metal bat on her arm.

Anuj sustained serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, facial fractures, internal bleeding, hearing loss and a fractured hand. Shakoor and Asif were subsequently indicted by a New York County Grand Jury and while Asif was convicted of attempt to murder Anuj, Shakoor has reportedly fled the country, Batra said.

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