Civil Suit Filed For Fireworks Injury
Jacob Robinson, now 18, was burned over more than 15% of his body and has scarring on his arms, legs, back and buttocks. Since the July 11, 2008 incident, his medical bills have reached nearly $150,000, according to his attorney, Daniel Hunnicutt. His client is scheduled for a medical evaluation this week to determine the cost of further treatments.
The lawsuit, filed in the 15th Judicial Court, seeks compensation for medical bills, as well as actual and punitive damages. The incident occurred as Robinson was making a food delivery in the Racepath area on his first day of work for Doc's Delivery. He stopped to ask a group of men for directions and as he was talking, Rush threw a Roman candle into his car.
The firework set his clothes on fire, and he was airlifted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, GA, where he was treated for 10 days and released. Rush, an accomplished athlete at Myrtle Beach High several years earlier, was placed on house arrest until his trial earlier this year. He is eligible for parole Oct. 1.
Hunnicut feels the assault was "especially heinous, given that it was unprovoked by Jacob and that there was no motive for gain, other than just to hurt him."
"This kind of injury lasts a lifetime," Hunnicutt explained. "It's going to stay with him for the rest of his life. We believe Rush needs to answer for that with more than his criminal sentence."
A distant relative of Rush, Rev. William Goss, said Tuesday he hopes the two families involved will sit down and come to some resolution. His interpretation of the incident and the intent behind it is different than Hunnicutt's. "There's a lot going on with this, and I know that young man suffered," Goss said. "I've known Marcus since he was a child. Racepath may have some drug problems and some other incidents that happened, but this incident, while it is a shame, was not intended to hurt or harm. There were other boys there who were throwing (fireworks) at each other as a game, and that's what it was. It got out of control, but it wasn't to hurt that boy intentionally."
As of Tuesday afternoon, Rush's attorney for his criminal trial, Preston Brittain, had not been contacted by the family about the civil suit.
Rush's mother has custody of his 3-year-old daughter. "He doesn't have anything," Goss continued. "He doesn't have a car or property, just the clothes on his back. You can't get blood out of a turnip. His mother is trying her best just to take care of his daughter and the bills."
The suit alleges Robinson will have physical and emotional scars for the rest of his life, and that finding employment will be harder because of physical limitations and the need for time off for physical therapy and doctor appointments.