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Ron Paul supporter files lawsuit against Gingrich campaign for broken foot at Florida precinct

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard is sandwiched between supporters of Newt Gingrich and security staff outside a …

A Ron Paul supporter who left his polling precinct near Orlando with a broken foot Tuesday after an altercation with Newt Gingrich's private security officers has filed a lawsuit against the campaign and Patriot Group International, Gingrich's security firm.

The complaint, filed on Feb. 3 in a U.S. district court , seeks damages of more than $75,000, and alleges battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring on part of the campaign.

Dillard told Yahoo News that his attorney, Andrew Bennett Spark, was waiving attorney fees.

The incident occurred Tuesday at a polling station at First Baptist Church Windermere, where Gingrich was scheduled to make a quick morning stop to greet supporters. Dillard, a Ron Paul supporter who lives nearby, was present with a Paul sign when Gingrich arrived, and he says he did not know the candidate planned to stop there.

When Gingrich's campaign bus arrived, Gingrich walked toward Dillard, said hello, and turned to shake hands with voters. Dillard held the Paul sign behind Gingrich. Members of the candidate's private security warned Dillard that he should leave. When Dillard refused, they attempted to block him, and one stomped on his foot--on purpose, Dillard, who was wearing flip-flop sandals at the time, says.

After the incident, Dillard had a bruise on the top of his foot and later visited a doctor, who diagnosed him with a fracture.

A spokesman for Paul's presidential campaign called on Gingrich this week to apologize and to pay for Dillard's hospital bills.

Spark told Yahoo News that a phone call to the Gingrich campaign Friday had not yet been returned.

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