The family of Odell Fields will only get $6,000 for the punch that killed him.
A York County Sheriff’s Office auction Friday netted that amount for the contents of the Sandbar Bar & Grill in Rock Hill, seized in the wrongful death lawsuit.
“We don’t anticipate any further compensation,” said David Manzi, a lawyer for the Fields family.
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The family had sought $5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the bar and Eric Cobb, the man who threw the punch. The $1.8 million judgment in that suit was handed down last year.
Odell Fields was 65 when he died from the punch. He was awarded two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, after twice being wounded in combat. He worked in Rock Hill afterward for decades, while raising a family.
The deceased man’s son, Johnny Fields, said Friday by phone from Illinois, where he lives, that he had hoped for more money to help with his elderly mother’s medical bills.
Johnny Fields said the $1.8 million judgment was a court measure of his father financially, not the measure of a man who worked all his life afterward.
“No amount of money would never amount to my dad,” Johnny Fields said.
The punch was caught on a video that showed Cobb celebrating afterwards. Cobb is serving a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter after pleading guilty.
The problem became collecting the money.
Cobb, 34, was liable for $1 million in the judgment, but he has no assets, said Manzi. The bar’s assets were seized as part of the remaining $810,381.59 in the judgment.
The auction of items Friday was the last chance for the Fields family to collect any compensation.
About $5,000 in food from the bar/restaurant seized last year was donated by the Fields’ family before Christmas to Pilgrims’ Inn charity in Rock Hill.
Johnny Fields said he was proud his family could help others.
“That’s the kind of man my father was all his life,” Johnny Fields said.
All that remains now for the Fields’ family is $2,500 in alcohol from the bar. The alcohol cannot be auctioned off because it is illegal for the sheriff’s office to sell it without a liquor license.
Several hundred items were acquired at the auction by Dennis Black of Tailgaters bar and restaurant on Ebenezer Road in Rock Hill. Black said he had heard about the death of Fields and said it was “terrible” tha he died that way.
“Hopefully this is something positive that can help the family,” Black said after the auction.
Manzi said that $6,000 barely covers the cost of the lawsuit. But the family does get closure, Manzi said.
“It is a sad story for Odell, and a sad story for the family,” Manzi said.