Vietnam’s bullets and bayonets could not kill Odell Fields. But one punch killed him more than four decades later.
That punch caught on surveillance video in 2014 should cost $5,159,333, lawyers for Fields’ family say.
And 10 cents.
Fields, 65, a Vietnam War veteran wounded twice in combat, died May 11, 2014, after one punch thrown the night before by Eric Paul Cobb outside the Sand Bar in Rock Hill. Cobb, 33, is serving 15 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter because of the attack. Yet Cobb celebrated with his arms held high that night because he decked a man 35 years older than him with one punch.
The punch video obtained exclusively by The Herald shows Cobb knock down one last beer before throwing the killer haymaker, too.
Fields’ family lawyers have filed court documents in a wrongful death lawsuit asking for about $20,000 in lost benefits, and around $100,000 in medical costs. But the family wants $2 million for pain and suffering, and $3 million in punitive damages.
“It is ironic that after surviving two wounds in Vietnam, Odell Fields died from a sucker punch in his hometown of Rock Hill,” wrote Fields’ lawyer David Manzi, in asking a judge for $2 million for pain and suffering. “Cobb’s actions and lack of remorse should outrage everyone in the community.”
As for punitive damages Manzi wrote that the punishment that will be decided by York County Master-in-Equity Judge Jack Kimball in coming days will be a “strong message” to other establishments serving alcohol.
“A strong message will be sent and it may save another Odell Fields,” Manzi wrote.
Fields’ family filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the bar, Cobb, and bartender Jose Cintron. The lawsuit says the bar served Cobb when Cobb was drunk.
All three defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit so are in default, Judge John C. Hayes III ruled earlier this year. Judge Kimball said in a May 10 default judgment hearing covered exclusively by The Herald that all that is left is for him to decide the default judgment dollar amount.
The pending lawsuit is unchallenged because of the default. No motions about what the judgment amount should be have been filed by the bar, Cobb in prison, or the bartender, court documents show.
All that is left is for the judge to decide whether or not the killer punch should cost $5 million dollars.