The Law: Socking It to a Rough Union

Earl Lassitter's transgression was to cross a picket line. When he later appeared at another Florida construction site, he was told to take off by Dennis Walton, a burly six-footer who also happens to be a member of Operating Engineers Local 675. Lassitter apparently did not move fast enough, so Walton knocked him down and pummeled him so badly that he still suffers a partial hearing loss.

Lassitter filed an assault charge against Walton in Fort Lauderdale criminal court, but the case was dismissed. He then sued for damages in civil court. The result was gratifying indeed. The six-member jury awarded him...

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