Lawsuit filed over assault
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | March 25,2013
ST. JOHNSBURY — A Vermont propane delivery man who was nearly bludgeoned to death by a mentally ill man with a wrench has filed a lawsuit against his attacker and the man’s family.
Mike Kuligoski, 52, was attacked in 2011 by 23-year-old Evan Rapoza while working on a furnace in a St. Johnsbury apartment building. Rapoza was initially charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault for clubbing Kuligoski with a wrench, choking him with a belt and plunging his head into a bucket of water in an unprovoked attack.
Charges were dropped after Rapoza was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent to a state mental health hospital.
Kuligoski filed a lawsuit late last month against Rapoza and his parents seeking money for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of consortium.
The suit alleges Rapoza’s parents, John and Christine Rapoza, knew their son was dangerous and failed to warn or protect Kuligoski when he arrived to work on the furnace at the apartment house owned by John Rapoza.
“As the parents of Evan Rapoza, and knowing his character and propensities, John A. Rapoza and Christine M. Rapoza had a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals around Evan Rapoza were not thereby exposed to an unreasonable risk of harm,” the complaint says.
The Rapozas’ attorney could not be reached for comment.
Kuligoski spent 15 months in rehabilitation after the attack before returning to his Danville home last May. His injuries are so extreme that he’ll never be able to work again and will require constant medical attention for the rest of his life, according to the lawsuit.