Court Reverses $2.8-Million Award to Man Shot by Bandit
A $2.8-million judgment against Jack-in-the-Box restaurants in favor of a young Saugus man--who tried to capture a teen-age bandit only to be shot in the head--has been overturned by a state appeals court, which said he brought it on himself.
Keith Forrand, who was 24 on July 17, 1977, when he walked into the Newhall fast-food outlet just after a holdup, sued the chain on grounds that the waitress who shouted “Stop him!” should have warned him that the 15-year-old bandit was armed.
Although a Los Angeles Superior Court jury agreed and awarded the judgment, the 2nd District State Court of Appeal said the waitress had no way of knowing Forrand would jump in his own car and chase the youth, or that he would cut off the getaway car and confront the suspect.
The bandit, who was arrested with a companion nearby, testified that he pointed a .22-caliber rifle at Forrand and ordered him to stay inside his own car. But Forrand, he said, got out and walked toward him, saying of the rifle, “You’d better know how to use that thing.”
The teen-ager shot him, leaving him with a bullet lodged in the brain, brain damage, partial loss of sight in one eye and total deafness in one ear. He said he chased the bandit under the impression that the youth was simply running out on a bill.
Glenn Dore, who took $81.39, served eight months in the custody of the California Youth Authority.
Forrand’s action in pursuing the youthful holdup man and approaching him even after seeing that he was armed was, the appellate panel said, “of his own doing and clearly an unforeseeable event that should not cast liability” on Jack-in-the-Box.
Roland Wrinkle, one of Forrand’s attorneys, said his client has been living in Utah, is beset by bills and has been unable to work since the shooting. “He’s going to get crushed by this,” Wrinkle added.
The attorney said an appeal would be filed.