Jury Awards $28.6 Million To Wife Of Former White House Lawyer
The ex-wife of former Bush administration lawyer John Michael Farren has been awarded $28.6 million in damages by a Connecticut jury who found him liable for beating her nearly to death at their New Canaan mansion in 2010.
The verdict came in Mary Margaret Farren's lawsuit against her ex-husband, a White House lawyer for President George W. Bush and general counsel for Xerox Corp. Farren was liable for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Stamford Superior Court jurors found Tuesday. The attack allegedly occurred after Mary Farren, who is also a lawyer, informed her husband she was filing for divorce.
"We don't believe this is time for a celebration, but it is one more step toward justice taking place for Mary Margaret," attorney Paul Slager told The Advocate of Stamford.
Slager told the jury that Mary Farren was "a shell of her former self" because of the attack.
"You've heard testimony that J. Michael Farren was a powerful man," Slager said during his closing argument. "No matter your race, your ethnicity, your gender, whether you're rich or poor, we're all treated the same in the eyes of the law in this courtroom. And if you keep that in mind while you deliberate, Mary Margaret will find justice here."
John Michael Farren, 60, represented himself in the civil case, but did not appear during the trial to defend himself or cross-examine his wife's witnesses. As the trial was starting, Farren sent an email to the court saying he had entered a Hartford-area hospital but giving no reason for his hospitalization, the newspaper reported.
Farren is also representing himself at a trial on criminal charges of attempted murder and assault in connection with the alleged 2010 attack in New Canaan. He has pleaded not guilty.