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Meadowlands stabbing victim wins in federal court

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

A County Monaghan man who nearly lost his life after being stabbed after a New York Jets football game has won $283,500 in court-awarded damages.

Michael McGee, from Emyvale, was hospitalized twice in the wake of being attacked by a knife-wielding teenager following the game at Giants Stadium in October 1997.

McGee’s lawyers brought a subsequent case against the official vendors at the stadium because McGee’s assailant, who was 16 at the time, had been served alcohol during the game.

"We are happy with the outcome of the case. It certainly was a level of justice deserved by my client," said McGee’s attorney, Westchester County-based Desmond Lyons.

McGee and a companion were attacked by three men from Massachusetts after the game between the Jets and the New England Patriots.

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The teenager who stabbed McGee, puncturing a lung, was Andrew Parziale of Woburn. Parziale weighed over 300 pounds at the time of the incident.

He was later sentenced to 31 months in a New Jersey facility for youth offenders after being found guilty on two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.

But Parziale turned into a friendly witness for McGee at the recent hearing in New Jersey Federal District Court in Newark.

McGee’s case was taken against Parziale and also Aramark, the giant Philadelphia-based catering company that held the license for vending at Giant’s Stadium the day McGee was assaulted.

A remorseful Parziale testified at the hearing that if it wasn’t for being served alcohol at the game, he would not have ended up stabbing McGee.

According to attorney Lyons, Parziale had become enraged due to the alcohol. He had been carrying a knife he used at his job in a bakery and had traveled straight from working an overnight shift at the bakery near his home in Massachusetts.

Aramark Inc. did not call any witnesses on its own behalf at the hearing, which was held before a jury. But the company did state to the court that its policy was not to serve alcohol to minors and that it was also policy to ask for proof of age from anyone who looked under 30.

The jury also found in a lesser sum for another man, Robert Gonzalez. Gonzalez was at the game with McGee and was also assaulted but, unlike McGee, did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Gonzalez, who was represented by South Orange, N.J., attorney Sean McGovern, was awarded $15,000.

Responsibility for the award was divided between Aramark and Parziale, the former being held 70 percent responsible, the latter 30 percent.

"Mickey almost died twice as a result of what this kid did, first in the stabbing and later from a pulmonary embolism which was a direct result of the stabbing," said attorney Lyons, who is counsel to the Manhattan firm of Scheurer, Wiggin & Hardy.

"This kid [Parziale] is the reason why there are laws regarding serving alcohol to minors. He’s a poster child for such laws."

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