An Indian-American brother-sister duo has been awarded nearly $9 million in damages for injuries suffered when they were assaulted by two men in a night club in New York in January 2005.
Anuj Sapra and Arti Sapra won the judgement on March 11 in Manhattan Supreme Court for the incident at Club 9 1/2, owned by Ten’s Cabaret, when two men beat them up with baseball bats, according to their Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra.
The case “represents the serious fallout of New York clubs regularly serving underage children excessive amounts of liquor, and such drunken state coupled with immature judgement, becoming a violent trigger for serious injury, or worse, near-death”, he said.
The court ruled against Ten’s Cabaret and awarded compensatory and punitive damages of over $8 million for Anuj Sapra and over $640,000 for his sister.
According to the sequence of events, a club patron, later identified as Mohammad Abdul-Shakoor, who was underage (below the age of 21) but intoxicated, approached Arti, grabbed her, and asked her to dance.
When she refused, Shakoor became irate. Anuj went to her aid. Upon Anuj approaching Arti, Shakoor was quickly joined by another man, later identified as Mohammad Asif — who was also underage but intoxicated.
A scuffle ensued, Anuj was struck by Shakoor and Asif, and pushed down onto a couch.
The club’s security personnel then forcibly removed Anuj, Shakoor and Asif. The bouncers did not contact police regarding the altercation in the club.
They restrained Anuj at the front of the club, while other security personnel escorted Shakoor and Asif out.
Later, as Anuj and Arti attempted to leave the club, they were chased down by Shakoor and Asif, who were waiting for the duo.
They attacked Anuj with metal baseball bats, striking him repeatedly about the head and face. When Arti tried to help her brother, Shakoor struck her with the metal bat on her arm.
Anuj sustained serious injuries, including traumatic brain Injury, skull fractures, facial fractures, internal bleeding, and a fractured hand.
He was saved from death by some New York City police officers, who saw the beating and intervened. Shakoor and Asif were arrested.
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.