Michigan Court of Appeals Upholds Detroit Contractor’s Civil Liability in Assault Case

In 2004, Bobby Ferguson allegedly assaulted and beat an employee with a pistol after suspecting that the employee was having an affair with Ferguson’s wife. The employee, Kennedy Thomas, was left with permanent and severe health issues according to news reports, which state Thomas now has permanent brain damage and head pain, making him disabled and unable to work.

Thomas sued Ferguson over the incident in 2007, saying that after getting involved in an argument about Ferguson’s wife, he was struck in the head with a pistol. Ferguson said that he believed he used an ashtray in the assault, and that he did not use a gun. He also stated that he did not believe Thomas was seriously injured, and that Thomas’s doctors were deceived regarding his medical condition.

Eventually Thomas was awarded $2.6 million by a jury, but that amount was reduced later to approximately $860,000 by Wayne Circuit Judge Wendy Baxter, the judge who heard the case.

Ferguson eventually pleaded guilty to assault, but appealed the verdict after the civil award left him owing Thomas such a substantial amount of money. His reasons for appealing included that a doctor who testified in the original trial was not qualified, that the verdict was flawed for countless reasons, and that Kennedy Thomas’s lawyer did not play fair. The Michigan Court of Appeals did not go for it, and ultimately tossed out Ferguson’s appeal.

Thomas filed a cross-appeal, and was awarded an additional $400,000 by the panel who found that he was entitled to some of the expenses which the judge had denied initially. Ultimately, Ferguson’s appeal efforts have left him owing more compensation to Thomas rather than less.

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime are not always guilty of the crime they are accused of; additionally, defense lawyers may fail to provide an effective defense. Michigan criminal appeals attorneys know how to determine if your rights may have been violated, if your sentence was excessive in comparison to the offense committed, and other factors that may make you eligible for an appeal.


If you have been wrongly convicted or feel for other reasons that you deserve a second chance, contact a skilled and capable Michigan criminal appeals lawyer right away.