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Coldplay's Chris Martin Sued for Press Hit-and-Run

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on December 24, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Just because Chris Martin is a front man for a huge pop band does not mean he wants attention. A paparazzo is suing Coldplay's lead singer for hitting him with a car when the Martin saw he and his now-ex Gwyneth Paltrow were being filmed.

The plaintiff claims he is permanently injured by the events of January 25, 2015, according to Courthouse News Service. Richard Terry says Martin intentionally jumped the sidewalk with his car to run him over and that is part of a long pattern of violence by the pop star against paparazzi.

Angry About Attention

Terry claims Martin has "a significant history of repeated and ongoing violent acts against entertainment news people such as plaintiff Terry." He added that "in spite of the plaintiff's injuries and the arrival of paramedics and police [Martin] left the scene of the incident without ever stopping, which is indicative of his intentional behavior and disdain for the health and welfare of the plaintiff."

Terry claims Martin's actions were "criminal in nature."He seeks punitive damages for negligence and assault and battery.

Proving the Case

Given his fame and fortune, Chris Martin makes a good target for a negligence suit. But what will Richard Terry have to prove?

To succeed in a personal injury claim, Richard Terry will have to show that Martin breached the duty of care owed by a celebrity to a member of the media, causing an injury that is compensable with damages. The act in this case must be particularly terrible to warrant punitive damages, which is why Terry's filings emphasize the criminal nature of Martin's act and his intent to harm Terry.

Terry's complaint states, "Martin pulled his vehicle hard to the right in order to strike plaintiff Terry. In fact, in an effort to strike plaintiff Terry, defendant Martin not only intentionally struck the plaintiff with his vehicle, he pulled his vehicle so far to the right as to cause his right front and rear tires to leave the driveway altogether, striking the plaintiff and going over the curb."

The paparazzo will have to show Martin acted truly egregiously and deserves to be punished financially, beyond just compensating Terry's medical expenses. Or maybe he is just angling for a settlement. Either way, the suit is unlikely to make Martin fond of the media attention he seems to both seek and shirk.

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