Jury Says Florida Church Must Pay Burn Victim

July 24, 2014

Jurors in Florida have determined that the Agape Baptist Church must pay $471,798.50 to a man who was severely burned after setting fire to a pile of trash while working off community service hours.

The verdict in Ocala includes $300,000 for plaintiff Justin Castro’s past and future pain and suffering. Castro said he is “truly blessed.”

The Ocala Star-Banner reported that Castro was burned over 30 percent of his body in September 2011 after pouring gasoline over the brush and lighting it. Church pastor Rev. Michael Hackathorn testified he only asked Castro to put the brush in a pile, not to set it on fire.

The jury indicated that Castro was 17 percent negligent while the church, or the man who provided the gasoline, was 83 percent negligent.

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