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Corner Brook court awards man damages for disability stemming from vicious, unprovoked assault

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A man left with permanent vision loss after an assault more than seven years ago has been awarded nearly $336,000 in damages by a judge.

Robert Park, 33, was the victim of an unprovoked attack by Travis Cormier in August 2010.

Park had been in a car driving to Flat Bay. When he got out of the car, Cormier struck Park in the face with a beer bottle.

The attack was sudden and without warning.

After Park fell to the ground, Cormier jumped on him and bystanders had to pull Cormier off Park.

As a result of the assault, which left a shard of glass in his left eye, Park sustained serious injuries, including a broken nose, a cracked eyeball, a broken eye socket, a torn retina, a torn eyelid, severe headaches, severe hemorrhaging and loss of vision in his left eye.

Since that time, Park has had several surgeries on his damaged eye.

Cormier was charged with assault and breach of probation. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months of house arrest for the assault. He also received a sentence of two months for the breach of probation.

Park filed a lawsuit against Cormier the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook, requesting compensation for damages. In a written judgment released Thursday, Justice Brian Furey sided with Park.

The court heard the eyesight in his left eye will never be restored and Park has suffered significantly in his daily life following the assault.

He can see light, but nothing else out of his left eye. He is unable to see colours out of his left eye and sometimes cannot pick things out with his other eye.

The court heard Park still suffers headaches related to the trauma and the headache pain was particularly excruciating in the first year of his recovery.

The unexpected adjustment to his subsequent life has generated a lot of anger and frustration in Park, the court was told. He is uncomfortable with the change in his appearance and is depressed since his hopes of becoming a heavy-duty diesel mechanic or a crane operator have been dashed because of his vision problems.

Park has not worked since the assault and is being treated for an addiction to some of the painkillers he had been prescribed as part of his recovery.

“The loss he has suffered — the loss of sight in his left eye — is one that will affect him each day for the rest of his life,” Furey wrote in his decision. “He lives in fear that if something happens to his good eye he will be rendered totally blind.”
Noting it is difficult to adequately compensate for such losses with money, Furey decided to award Park $200,000 in general damages for the loss of his enjoyment of life.

He awarded another $100,000 for Park’s loss of future earning capacity, plus $35,000 for the cost of his future care and another $968 for special damages related to costs Park has already incurred in dealing with some of his medical and legal issues.

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