UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man who says security guards beat him at a Six Flags America park on Father's Day in 2018 was awarded $800,000 by a jury on Friday.
Nicholaus Mims and his family were visiting a water park area at Six Flags America in Bowie when the father took off his shirt and noticed one of his children was missing, The Daily Record reported , citing the complaint filed last year in Prince George's County Circuit Court. He found his son, but security guards told him he needed to put on a shirt.
Mims said after an argument, he agreed to leave but guards followed him out of the park, beat and handcuffed him. Mims was diagnosed with a concussion and still experiences headaches and vision problems, according to the complaint.
Six Flags said Mims was the "aggressor" based on his language during the incident, according to Mims' attorney Donald Huskey.
"He was looking for his son frantically because he didn't know if he'd been abducted," Huskey said. "He wasn't looking for his shirt, he was trying to find his son."
Mims, who is black, had sued Six Flags America seeking $10 million in damages. The $800,000 verdict is not expected to be reduced under the state's mandatory cap.
"At least at this stage they do feel vindicated," said Governor Jackson III, an attorney who also represented Mims and his wife, who recorded much of the incident on her cell phone.
"This was about protecting their PR image at the expense of these egregious injuries against a compliant African American male trying to enjoy his family holiday," Jackson said of Six Flags.
The company believed the lawsuit had no merit, Six Flags spokeswoman Denise Stokes said when the complaint was filed. The company plans to challenge the verdict.
"We are going to seek post-trial relief from the courts based on some of the things that happened in the proceedings," Six Flags attorney David Skomba said. He cited at least one error he says the court made on an evidentiary matter.
Information from: The Daily Record of Baltimore, http://www.thedailyrecord.com