$514,000 AWARDED IN '89 SHOOTING AT BAR INSURER, GUNMAN ORDERED TO PAY - The Buffalo News
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$514,000 AWARDED IN '89 SHOOTING AT BAR INSURER, GUNMAN ORDERED TO PAY

An Amherst man won a $514,000 jury award Friday from an Allegany County bar and the man convicted of firing a shotgun blast at his head after mistaking him for a bar patron he had been fighting with three years ago.

But his lawyer doesn't think he can collect much of the money.

Patrick J. Brown, chief counsel for Joseph A. Fuchs, said he believes his client, who survived the shooting by turning his head away from the blast, will only be able to collect the 35 percent of the award that the jury ordered the bar's insurance carriers to pay.

He said he doubted his client can collect the other 65 percent from Leland Baker, 38, of Andover, who pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in the Oct. 6, 1989, shooting and is serving a five-year state prison term.

Brown said Baker had been fighting with others in the White House Restaurant in Belmont when the fight moved into the parking lot and Baker ran to his mother's house three blocks away to get a shotgun.

He returned and shot Fuchs, 46, as he was leaving the bar at about 10:20 p.m., mistaking him for one of the men he had been fighting with, Brown said. Fuchs needed 11 operations to repair the damage, Brown said.

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