Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bork settles $1M suit over fall at Yale Club

NEW YORK (AP) — One-time U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork settled a $1 million lawsuit Friday against the Yale Club after he fell stepping onto a platform to speak.

His lawyer, Randy Mastro, said terms of the deal were confidential and he had no comment.

Bork, 81, sued in Manhattan federal court last year, saying he injured himself so badly at the June 2006 event sponsored by the New Criterion magazine that he needed surgery and was left with a limp. He faulted the club for not having stairs or a handrail leading up to the platform.

Lawyers for the New York City chapter blamed Bork, saying any injuries he sustained were at least partially his fault for not recognizing potential risks, which the club said were “open, obvious and apparent.”

A message left Friday with a lawyer for the club was not immediately returned.

Bork served as a solicitor general and acting attorney general in the 1970s. As solicitor general in 1973, he fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox on orders of then-President Nixon.

From 1982 to 1988, he was a federal appeals judge in Washington. In 1987, the Senate denied President Reagan’s nomination of Bork for the Supreme Court.

In his lawsuit, Bork’s lawyers said Bork suffered “excruciating pain” after he fell backward as he tried to mount the dais, striking his left leg on the side of the dais and his head on the heat register.

He underwent surgery and physical therapy and was left with a limp and a cane, the lawsuit said.

The Yale club is a social organization available for Yale University alumni, full-time faculty and full-time graduate students only, according to the club’s Web site.

New Haven Register story

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