A lawyer is suing a colleague for over £10,000 after his hand was bruised in a “ferocious” handshake at a kid’s birthday party. George Vallario Jr was at his god-daughter’s 11-year-old twin’s party when his now ex-friend Peter Lindley arrived with his teenage daughter.
The pair then shook hands but 75-year-old Vallario Jr claims the greeting was made with "such ferocity, force, strength and violence" he yelped in "extreme pain". According to legal papers served on 59-year-old Lindley, the "uncalled for" handshake caused him injury and "mental anguish".
Vallario Jr claims the handshake caused him pain in his right hand for at least a year after the party in Florida, and is suing him for a staggering $15,000 (£10,000). Friends of the pair from Florida are baffled by the legal move, but Vallario Jr, a grandfather-of-four, insists the greeting caused him extreme pain.
He said: "Now I had a nightclub in New York and I would shake 200 peoples hands a night - that's what you did when you had a club - and nobody ever shook my hand so violently or forcefully as did Peter. "As a consequence there of, that happened on a Saturday and by 2.20am Sunday morning I woke up with the most intense pain you can imagine.
"Monday I was at the orthopaedic surgeon's office and I have just had the brace off now. "The guy was just showing off.
The pensioner goes on to say that when his lawyer friend shook his hand he cried out “Holy cow! Pete, what's wrong with you man?” To which Lindley replied: “Do you have arthritis?” and Vallario Jr confirmed that he did the 59-year old responded “so does my mother”.
Vallario Jr added: "After two days I sent him an email - 'Dear Peter, no flowers? No candy? No card?' "Day four - 'Dear Peter, this is the most intense pain I have had in my entire life.' "All he had to do was do something nice, but he wouldn't, so I did sue, and the case is coming up and one of these days soon.
"I don't know why he is so strong. He may have started a new work out regiment, I really don't know. "He is not a bad guy, but he did something stupid, and that's why they call it negligence.
"It's not a crime but it is negligent to be so silly. "I'm looking at my hand right now and it is just scary. It is swollen, the joint and the vein is sticking it out.
It was two years ago." Baffled Mr Lindley said he did not want to comment on the case, but said: "It's how gentlemen have greeted each other around the world for centuries." Mr Vallario was already at the party hosted by his god-daughter Catherine Abbott, whose twins girls go to school with Mr Lindley's daughter.
The pensioner alleges in court papers served on Mr Lindley that the greeting was "violent" and he "immediately shouted out and was in pain". The papers claim: "Upon entering [the home], plaintiff was approached by the defendant who grabbed the plaintiff's right hand without any reason, provocation or warning of any kind, with such ferocity, force, strength, and violence, that the plaintiff immediately shouted out and was in severe pain.
"Plaintiff had done nothing to cause or encourage such violent conduct by the defendant. "The defendant's violent grabbing of the plaintiff's right hand was unexpected, unprovoked, uninvited, unauthorised and most certainly uncalled for.
"As as direct result, plaintiff suffered bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, of a previously existing condition.
"The losses are either permanent or continuing and plaintiff will suffer the losses in the future." It is understood Mr Lindley will argue in court that his former-friend didn't shout out in pain and they chatted in a "friendly" way for the rest of the four-hour party.
The plaintiff, Mr Vallario, is suing for damages "in excess of" $15,000, plus interest and costs. It is understood the pair have argued back and forth in an attempt to settle the disagreement outside court.
But when Mr Lindley made an offer of settlement of $500 (£350) Vallario decided to take the case to a civil trial in court this year.