Taylor & Ring Secures $7.4M Settlement for Client Who Was Choked by an Off-Duty LA Firefighter

Taylor & Ring Secures $7.4M Settlement for Client Who Was Choked by an Off-Duty LA FirefighterTaylor & Ring has secured a $7.4 million settlement on behalf of our client, Samuel Chang, who was berated, threatened, and then violently assaulted by a group of five men, two of whom were off-duty firefighters. Attorneys Dave Ring and Brendan Gilbert represented Mr. Chang in a civil lawsuit alleging assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In a statement procured by KTLA 5, Dave Ring said “Samuel was brutally beaten by these thugs. The civil settlement provides him with some justice for what he endured. Yet we remain incredibly disappointed that the district attorney’s office failed to hold the defendants accountable for this horrific attack.”

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An Off-Duty LA Firefighter Seriously Injured an Unarmed Man Giving Out Halloween Candy – and He Didn’t Spend a Day in Jail

What happened to Samuel Chang?

Samuel Chang was handing out Halloween candy in 2015 when he was approached by five men, including two off-duty firefighters – Eric Carpenter, and former child star Michael Anthony Vitar. When Mr. Chang refused to leave, the men began using threatening language. Then, Carpenter brutally assaulted our client. Carpenter put Mr. Chang in a chokehold for six full minutes, while four other men helped pin him down, or stood nearby and watched.

The entire incident was recorded by bystander.

WARNING: the following video shows Carpenter holding Mr. Chang in a chokehold while he interrogates him, accusing him of offering the children drug-laced candy. The images are graphic. View discretion is advised.

Samuel Chang sustained life-altering injuries

The attackers accused Mr. Chang of having “drug-laced” candy. In fact, Mr. Chang had no drugs on him at all, nor any alcohol. He also did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system the night of the attack. The candy was just candy, plain and simple. He did nothing wrong.

Mr. Chang was held in a chokehold for six minutes before he passed out. He suffered severe head trauma and kidney failure as a result of his attack. He told the Los Angeles Times that “he had to delay his graduate studies [in physical therapy] for almost a year and still suffers from chronic headaches and has trouble reading and processing information as a result of his injuries.”

And yet, neither Carpenter nor Vitar have lost their jobs. In fact, the only punishment in criminal court was “three years’ probation and 90 days of community service, according to court records. Both Carpenter and Vitar remained on the city’s payrolls after serving a six-month unpaid suspension,” the Times reports.

What happened to Samuel Chang was criminal, unjust, and immoral. The mental trauma Mr. Chang suffered cannot be denied. In some ways, we feel that our client was actually the victim twice – of a physical attack, and of the preferential treatment that his attackers appear to have been given. Still, we are pleased that we helped Mr. Chang obtain some measure of justice. His life will never be the same, but at least now he can get the help he needs.

Taylor & Ring is proud to fight on behalf of victims of assault and abuse. If you have sustained an injury because of another person’s negligence, or because of an act of targeted violence, we are here to help. Please call our Los Angeles injury lawyers today at 310-776-6390, or fill out our contact form, and schedule your free initial consultation.