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Kory seeks $1.25 million in lawsuit

In response to the attack that he suffered above Ruffner Footbridge while walking home to his first-year dorm in the early morning of Nov. 21, 1997, Alexander "Sandy" Kory filed a lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court Tuesday against his assailants, seeking $1.25 million in damages.

The lawsuit claims damages from Richard W. Smith, Harrison Kerr Tigrett, Bradley Clark Kintz and Wesley H. McCluney for alleged assault and battery, emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

Smith filed a $1.25 million lawsuit against the University July 12, while Tigrett filed a $1.5 million suit against the University Oct. 27. Both lawsuits cite "reputational injury, emotional distress and mental anguish" for the students' respective treatment during University's judiciary proceedings.

According to Kory's lawsuit, he is seeking the $1.25 million amount because it "should at least be equal to [the amounts] claimed by the guilty parties."

According to the suit, $900,000 is for compensation "for sustained personal injuries."

The remaining $350,000 in punitive damages is requested "in order to stop this conduct in the future and to set an example in this community for unprovoked violent attacks," according to the suit.

The University Judiciary Committee voted to expel Smith, Kintz and Tigrett after their Nov. 21, 1998 trial, but the verdict was appealed and the students were granted a new trial, scheduled for April 17.

When the trial chairwoman recused herself from the case and three student prosecutors resigned in fear of lawsuits, UJC proceedings were delayed indefinitely.

William W. Harmon, vice president for student affairs, then received the case and appointed a panel of faculty, administrators and one student to hear the case.

The panel then recommended separate sanctions for each student to University President John T. Casteen III May 17.

After deliberating over the panel's suggestions, Casteen suspended Smith for two years, gave Tigrett a one-year suspension and suspended Kintz for one semester.

In a letter dated May 5, Kory offered to refrain from filing civil charges and drop the pending University Judiciary Committee charges in exchange for a $500,000 settlement, which the defendants ignored.

The letter was sent to Smith's Charlottesville attorney, Francis McQ. Lawrence, before the panel convened.

Smith, who pleaded guilty to assault and battery against Kory on May 14, 1998, declined to comment on all matters regarding the civil suit.

Kory and his Charlottesville attorney, Bruce D. Rasmussen, both were unavailable for comment.

Kory's other attorney, Lloyd Snook and Lawrence also were unavailable for comment.

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