Well, it’s time for yet another Myth Buster’s: Personal Injury Edition blog courtesy of the Baton Rouge, LA Law Offices of J. Price McNamara. This time, we’re going to talk about killers. Natural Born Killers, to be exact. Not many people have heard about this particular case, however, trust us when we say that this particular case is about as ridiculous as they come.
Hollywood has been producing films for longer than the majority of us have been alive. The genres spread across hundreds of mediums from romance, horror, suspense, mystery, mystery, etc. we’ve all been watching them for years, all of us owing large portions of our entertainment to the brilliant minds in Hollywood both on and off the screen.
However, one family decided to take inspiration to a whole other level, then retroactively blame Hollywood. More specifically, they blamed Natural Born Killer’s director Oliver Stone.
Let’s take a closer look at this story, and what actually happened.
The Crime, the Family, the Consequences.
In 1995, a young couple by the names of Sarah Edmondson and Ben Darras decided to walk into a local convenience store and rob it. Unfortunately, during the scuffle of this robbery, an innocent bystander by the name of Patsy Byers was shot and nearly killed. Instead, he was left a quadriplegic. Of course, despite how horrible these events are, they are not uncommon. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. However, when a crime like this strikes your family, everything becomes real. It’s no longer a story you are hearing about on the news and then moving on about your day. It’s personal, it’s life-altering, and it’s tragic.
Natural Born Killers Get the Blame
Here’s where this case jumps from the norm and into the slightly abnormal. Once apprehended the two suspects, Edmondson and her boyfriend Darras, claimed to have watched Oliver Stone’s 1994 blockbuster filmed Natural Born Killers several times before deciding to go through with their robbery plans.
In case you aren’t familiar with the movie, Natural Born Killers is a film that that follows a mentally unsound couple as they burglarize and shoot their way across the country. If you are seeing a connection between the crimes portrayed in the movie, and those committed by Edmondson and Darras, you are not alone. The family of Patsy Byers felt the same after they heard the couple spent the days before their crime watching Stone’s film several times.
Constitutional Amendments Save Stone
Like any normal family, Byers’ wanted justice, and someone to blame other than the criminals. They wanted a reason, they wanted sense to be made of a senseless situation. This is normal and nearly anyone would feel the same in a situation similar to the one Byers’ family was now in. Because of this, the family soon sought out repercussions in the form of a lawsuit filed against Stone and his movie. They claimed Stone’s film drove Edmondson and Darras to commit the crime.
However, and some might see this as unfortunate or fortunate, anger and a need for closure do not override the first amendment, under which Stone’s film is protected. That amendment promises and protects the rights of American citizens to freedom of speech, religion, and press. Stone’s film was a direct exercise of this amendment. As an American citizen, he is free to produce any film, as long as that film does not affect another person’s free will or rights. Stone was also not present at the time of the shooting and did not know of it, or the people involved, in any way.
For this reason, the lawsuit was thrown out by a judge right here in our own beautiful state of Louisiana. Edmondson and Darras were not so lucky. Edmondson, who was the one that actually shot Byers, is serving a thirty-five year prison sentence. Darras is in prison for life, as he committed murder Mississippi during the same crime spree that Byers was shot in.
And there is it. The case of the Natural Born Killers inspired crime spree busted – J. McNamara style.
Until next time readers, be safe out there and Godspeed.
Personal injury lawsuits are all too common for many people out there. We talked about some outrageous personal injury lawsuits in our past posts, and not surprisingly, the rich and famous of Tinseltown have their fair share of personal injury cases as well. Celebrities are not immune to dealing with these lawsuits and most these cases can range from reasonable to ridiculous quite quickly. Personal injury attorney, J. Price McNamara of Baton Rouge, LA explains the top 8 celebrity personal injury lawsuits. From dog bites to death threats, find out how some of Hollywood’s most famous personalities have been involved in a personal injury case.
Personal Injury Cases for the Rich and Famous
Personal Injury Case # 1: Dr. Phil – Dr. Phil has made a name for himself by giving other people advice, but it seems even this seemingly all-knowing Hollywood personality couldn’t have anticipated what his dog would do. Janet Harris, a long-time friend of Dr. Phil and his wife Robin McGraw, was visiting their Beverly Hills home when she was bitten by their dog, Maggie back in late 2009. Harris claims that the Korean Jindo attacked her without any warning or instigation. After being bit, Robin McGraw told her husband that Harris would need to be taken to the hospital and he reportedly told her to avoid the hospital trip because it would create bad publicity. Harris was instead privately prescribed antibiotics, but she found her arm was swollen the next day. Although Harris then went in for a tetanus shot and IV antibiotics, her condition didn’t improve. In fact, Harris developed hypersensitivity to the antibiotics, which caused her to lose hearing in her right ear and a tremor in her right hand. Harris consequently couldn’t continue to work and was forced to close down her skin care clinic in Beverly Hills. Dr. Phil has asked the lawsuit to be dismissed because Harris signed an arbitration agreement.
Personal Injury Case # 2: Lindsay Lohan – As most readers probably know, Lindsay Lohan is no stranger to the law. She was involved with a personal injury case after a paparazzo claimed that the actresses’ chauffeur ran him over while driving away from a club in Hollywood. The paparazzo, Grigor Balyan, filed the lawsuit against Lohan, her driver, and the management company. Balyan and Lohan ended up settling outside of court in 2013.
Personal Injury Case # 3: Bret Michaels – This former Poison frontman is best known for his 80s rock hits, but even this macho musician has experienced a personal injury case. Michaels filed a lawsuit against CBS and the Tony Awards after he was hit on the head from a descending backdrop. Michaels claims that he wasn’t given the proper instructions to exit and had no idea about the set change. He broke his nose, received three stitches, and claimed that the injury contributed to a brain hemorrhage. The lawsuit was settled, but the terms of the settlement aren’t known.
Personal Injury Case # 4: Joe Francis – Joe Francis, known as the creator of “Girls Gone Wild”, went to court with Wynn Casino and Hotel owner, Steve Wynn. Francis claimed that Wynn threatened to kill him after not paying a $2 million gambling debt that Francis accumulated at Wynn’s casino. In the end, Wynn sued for defamation and won the $40 million lawsuit.
Personal Injury Case # 5: Adrian Bailey – This celebrity was a member of “The Little Mermaid” Broadway musical when he sustained his injuries. Bailey’s injuries include a broken back, shattered pelvis, fractured sternum, fractured wrist, and fractured foot after falling through a trap door. He went on to to file a lawsuit against Disney by claiming there were no warnings or devices that could have prevented his fall.
Personal Injury Case # 6: Hulk Hogan – Although Hulk Hogan isn’t directly responsible for injuries sustained by a man injured in a car crash with his son, he is still liable as the parent of Nick Bollea, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident. The man who was critically injured, John Graziano, was in the passenger seat at the time Bollea lost control of his car and crashed into a palm tree. Graziano was hospitalized for two years and still remains in a minimally conscious state. Bollea spent five months and jail and Hulk Hogan settled the lawsuit with the Graziano family.
Personal Injury Case # 7: Britney Spears – This pop princess was in a legal battle with a former backup dancer who sustained a broken nose due to claims of negligence and battery. The backup dancer’s lawsuit claimed that Spears struggled to nail down any dance moves and hit the dancer in the face after twirling around with her arms extended. The dancer then went to the doctor and learned she would need to repair her nasal bone fracture. Spears said she would pay for medical bills but failed to do so, which lead to the dancer to file a lawsuit.
Personal Injury Case # 8: Rick Springfield – On the wackier side of things, this is next lawsuit is a strange one even by Hollywood’s standards. 80s musician Rick Springfield was involved in a personal injury lawsuit when concert goer, Vicki Calcagno sued for personal injuries sustained from Springfield’s butt hitting her head. Calcagno claimed that Springfield fell on her during a concert at the New York State Fair in 2004, which caused her to suffer from disabling, permanent injuries. Springfield denies ever falling on her. In the end, the jury sided with Springfield due to lack of witnesses, photos, or videos as evidence.
Call the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara
Celebrity or not, you’re going to want experienced and qualified legal representation for your personal injury lawsuit. If you or someone you know is currently dealing with serious injuries, contact the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara. Attorney J. Price McNamara has made a difference in the lives of his clients for decades. To get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, contact our office to schedule your free case review.