War Machine's Civil Liability Could Be in the Millions
TARZANA, Calif. — War Machine's civil liability over the alleged beating of adult performer Christy Mack and her now-revealed partner, former reality TV contestant Corey Thomas, could be in the millions, an adult industry attorney says.
Las Vegas police have issued seven arrest warrants for War Machine, who has not been seen publicly since last Friday's incident at Mack's Las Vegas home.
Mack said that she suffered from 18 broken bones, a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver as a result of the hands of War Machine, who is a professional mixed martial artist competing in the welterweight division. He's also a former boyfriend of Mack's and has had scenes in porn productions.
War Machine faces two felony batteries, one for strangulation; two felony domestic violence charges with great bodily injury; felony coercion with the threat of force; felony assault with a deadly weapon; and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.
On the run since Friday's incident, War Machine could face years in prison if convicted.
He also could see the wealth he has shrunk down if he has substantial assets.
Adult industry attorney Allan Gelbard said that if War Machine is indicted and convicted, Mack won't even have to prove liability — just damages.
"Even if he pleads no contest or is acquitted, she can still win a significant amount at trial," Gelbard told XBIZ. "Remember O.J. [Simpson] was acquitted of murder but subsequently found liable for millions.
"Actual damages would cover loss of work, reparative surgery and other medicals, now and in the future, counseling, meds, pretty much any financial expenses this caused her to incur," he said. "Emotional distress from being beaten and the more egregious fear of being killed could be millions. No question she would be entitled to punitive damages as well.
"The Supreme Court has limited punitives to approximately 10 times actuals, but I suspect a jury would likely award enough for the emotional distress claims to provide her a well-deserved life of relative luxury."
Gelbard noted that War Machine may have insurance policies that could possibly reimburse for any settlement or judgment.
"If so, it's probably a straight limits claim," he said. "California has an old case that holds that if an insurance company refuses to settle a case within the policy limits, then they are liable for the entire amount of any judgment that exceeds the limits. That being said, many, probably almost all, insurance policies expressly do not cover intentional torts — civil wrongs — so if he does have some coverage, they may well reject his claims. But it is policy dependent."
The Tarzana attorney also had some advice for Mack, as well as other adult performers involved in civil cases.
"There will always be some asshole defense lawyer who argues that because she's 'just a porn star,' she should be entitled to less," Gelbard said. "But a good lawyer will beat that argument."