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Civil assault - Student identity card allegedly ripped from student's hand - Complex regional pain syndrome (RSD).

Philadelphia County

The plaintiff was a college student at Drexel University, when she claimed that a security guard, employed by the defendant security company, committed battery by ripping a student identification card from her hand. The defendant contended that the card was taken from the plaintiff, but no assault or battery was committed.

The plaintiff was a 19 or 20-year old female at the time in question. She testified that she was swiping her Drexel University student identification card to gain access to her dormitory, when the defendant’s security guard grabbed the identification card and ripped it from her hand. The plaintiff claimed that the security guard committed battery and that the defendant security company was negligent in training the security guard. The plaintiff contended that the student identity card was attached to a rope which tightened around her thumb when the card was pulled from her hand, causing a hyperextension of the thumb. The plaintiff’s physician testified that the plaintiff subsequently developed complex regional pain syndrome, formally known as RSD, as a result of the injury.

The defendant’s security guard testified that there was a line of students signing into the dormitory and the plaintiff attempted to cut around the other students and swipe her own identity card. The security guard testified that she took the identity card from the plaintiff. The guard denied using excessive force or committing battery upon the plaintiff.

The jury found that the defendant’s security guard did not commit assault or battery upon the plaintiff. The jury also found that the defendant security company was not negligent.

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