Oregon College Settles Suit Filed by Stabbing Victim
BEND, Ore. (AP) — Central Oregon Community College announced it has settled a lawsuit filed by a student who was repeatedly stabbed in the back on Halloween night in 2014.
James Briles said in his lawsuit that the college failed to accommodate his request for a new roommate when his started exhibiting strange and scary behavior. The roommate, according to the suit, stabbed Briles about a dozen times, causing him to spend six days in a hospital and undergo multiple surgeries.
“COCC’s indemnity provider will be making a payment to Mr. Briles to assist with his medical expenses and ongoing treatment,” college spokesman Ron Paradis said in a statement to The Bulletin newspaper. “Both parties are (pleased) to save all involved the need to revisit this tragic event in litigation.”
The amount of the settlement has yet to be revealed.
Briles initially sought $500,000 in economic damages and noneconomic damages of $2.5 million. Before the settlement, the college maintained that Briles’ injuries were caused by third party outside its control.
Briles alleged that the college admitted Eric Norgaard despite knowing the young man posed a safety threat.
About a week before the stabbing, Norgaard “screamed violently and repeatedly” in the lobby of a college dorm, Juniper Hall, the lawsuit stated. Campus Public Safety was called to respond to the incident and two other students expressed concern for their safety.
Norgaard spent months in the state mental hospital after his arrest. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
A trial has been scheduled for September, court records show, with the 23-year-old man planning to rely on a defense of guilty except for insanity.
His defense attorney told a judge last month that his client suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is doing well while recovering at home in a “controlled and therapeutic environment.”
Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com