A groundskeeper at Nashua's Holman Stadium, who suffered life-altering injuries from a 2010 bar attack in Connecticut, has been awarded $4.3 million by a jury.
Monte Freire, 45, of Nashua, was stabbed in the neck on Oct. 2, 2010, at the U.S.S Chowder Pot III restaurant in Branford, Conn.
Although his assailant, John D. Mayor, of New Haven, Conn., was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison for the assault, Freire pursued a civil suit against the restaurant.
"The jury found that the restaurant itself, the proprietor of the restaurant, was responsible for his injuries in that its employee, a bartender, was negligent in choosing not to intervene in a verbal argument that was escalating," said Attorney Timothy Pothin, who represented Freire.
The 2010 bar fight made headlines during the end-of-the-season Yankees-Red Sox series because Freire, a Boston Red Sox fan, was attacked by Mayor, a New York Yankees fan, after a comment was made about the baseball rivalry.
Freire and some friends were in Connecticut for a softball tournament when the attack happened. Mayor was initially charged with first-degree assault, interfering with an officer, tampering with evidence, breach of peace and possession of a controlled substance for the attack.
Freire nearly died twice the night of the stabbing and had to be revived both times, according to media reports at the time. He has since undergone many surgeries.
"He has scars inside and out. He has had a hard time," Pothin said of his client, who is still the head groundskeeper for the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
Freire lost a significant amount of blood from the stabbing, and suffered a stroke because of the diminished blood flow to his brain, according to Pothin, who said it resulted in a brain injury, cognitive deficits, minor paralysis and visual perception problems.
According to Pothin, Freire is grateful that the jury understood the case and ultimately decided to hold the restaurant accountable.
"The bartender was warned twice that night, and he chose not to intervene," said Pothin, of Stratton Faxon Trial Lawyers LLC. "We felt very strongly that this was a case of egregious negligence."
The $4.3 million awarded to Freire will help provide him with the medical care he will need long into the future, said Pothin, who hopes the award will serve as a lesson to other bars.
It took a New Haven Superior Court jury three hours on Thursday to deliberate the case after a two-week trial.
On the date of the attack, the Red Sox and Yankees played a doubleheader, with each team winning one of the games, both of which were decided by a single run scored in the tenth inning.