Virginia jury orders man to pay $5,001 to former coworker for peeing in his coffee

James Carroll Butler urinated in Michael Utz’s coffee pot because of “personal ill will and spite toward him.”
By Evan Bleier   |   April 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM   |   Comments

CULPEPER, Va., April 10 (UPI) -- A Virginia jury has ordered a 53-year-old man to pay $5,001 to his former coworker after he admitted to putting something in his coffee -- and it wasn’t cream and sugar.

A jury in Culpeper County Circuit Court ordered James Carroll Butler to pay Michael Utz for spiking his coffee pot with pee in March 2009 while they were both working at the town’s wastewater plant.

The jury found that Butler, who had worked at the plant for 17 years before leaving in 2009, had “personal ill will and spite” towards Utz. When the tainted coffee pot was tested, lab results revealed that the strange brew contained urine and fecal material.

The plant mechanic had been seeking $378,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

“I done something I am very much ashamed of to a co-worker for [reasons, which are] stress-related [and] things going on in my life on and off the job. I am very much ashamed of my stupid and childlike behavior,” Butler wrote in a letter from March 2009.

Utz’s attorney, Michael Sharman, told the Star Exponent that his client is “really, really happy about the victory and he’s glad it’s done.”

[Star Exponent]

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