SAN BERNARDINO (AP) — A jury has awarded $55 million to a Southern California man who lost his legs because he claims a private security firm’s guard failed to protect him from gang members who shot him at an apartment building.
Jurors awarded the hefty sum Thursday to Antonio Steward who filed a lawsuit against Stratus Security Services, the Riverside Press Enterprise reported. The law firm that represents the security firm declined comment to the newspaper.
“I was pretty shocked at the amount,” Steward told the newspaper. “Now I just want to get it over, move on, and try to be a productive member of society.”
The lawsuit claims the security guard didn’t break up a small party of men associated with a gang in August 2006 and didn’t tell Steward and his two friends to go inside their homes because it might be dangerous. Steward’s attorneys said the guard left the area and went to his car, listened to the radio and then drove away.
Steward, then 17, was shot nine times without justification and had both of his legs amputated. He lost his legs to gangrene which was caused by a lack of blood flowing to the limbs, a complication of the gunshot wounds, court records said.
Steward has undergone 56 surgeries and had more than 40 percent of his stomach removed.
Steward’s attorneys said their client will need constant care for the rest of his life and will battle an array of infections. The quality of that care will determine how long Steward will live.
Roosevelt Turner is currently serving two consecutive life prison sentences for the shooting.
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