Defendant in $50K assault lawsuit decides to select new counsel

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 24, 2015

Philadelphia City Hall  

PHILADELPHIA – The defendant in a pending civil lawsuit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas resulting from a 2009 assault has requested the opportunity to select new legal counsel.

Ryan D. Hurd of Freedman & Lorry in Philadelphia explained in a motion to the Court that his client, Philadelphia resident Henry Dugan, decided to release him of the responsibility of representing Dugan.

Plaintiff counsel Drew Salaman was recently seeking discovery information to aid execution of a 2011 arbitration judgment against Dugan, and Dugan indicated at that time that he did not want Hurd to further serve as his counsel. Hurd explained he intended to cooperate fully with Dugan’s new counsel, if and when he chooses them.

A hearing on that matter was heard in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall on Tuesday. The current civil proceeding is in connection with a criminal assault that occurred on June 21, 2009, at the Starboard Side Tavern in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section.

According to court records, Dugan assaulted fellow Philadelphia resident Jonathan Rafter by punching him in the face outside the Starboard Side Tavern. As a result of the altercation, Rafter suffered a broken jaw in two places (bilateral mandible fracture), emotional distress, anxiety, pain and suffering and humiliation.

Dugan was then arrested and charged with multiple crimes, and pled guilty to simple assault and recklessly endangering another person on May 26, 2010. Rafter subsequently filed his civil litigation in August 2010.

Rafter’s lawsuit explained he incurred more than $10,000 in medical bills, sustained wage loss and vocational impairment, and levied a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against Dugan.

On June 27, 2011, an arbitration hearing yielded a total judgment of $50,000 against Dugan – comprised of $25,000 in special damages and $25,000 in punitive damages.

The plaintiff is seeking the previously-stated judgment amount determined at arbitration, $50,000, plus exemplary damages, consequential damages, attorneys fees and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Thomas J. Mettee and Salaman of Salaman, Grayson & Henry, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 100803721

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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