Where’s the beef?
One full week after 39 year old KC attorney Tom Pickert was gunned down on the front porch of his Brookside home by a dude some of his neighbors thought fled in a van owned by 79 year-old baby furniture bigwig David Jungerman.
Yet while what may appear to be a case of two plus two, may not in real life add up to four.
We soon shall see.
Meanwhile, there certainly are some interesting coincidences and connections.
For example, Pickert was the attorney who represented an elderly homeless dude who lost a leg courtesy of Jungerman’s unleashing his AK47 assault rifle on him. That after two homeless gents broke into one of Jungerman’s buildings.
Pickert prevailed at a civil trial against Jungerman this past summer garnering judgments to the tune of $5 million in punitive and $750,000 in compensatory damages.
“That’s pretty intense for punitive damages,” says one legal expert. “I mean, to get a $5 million punitive judgement – and my God, those kind of compensatory damages – the jury was really trying to send him a message. You never know if the jury didn’t like (Jungerman but)…he sure didn’t win any points with them.”
Still Jungerman was protecting his reportedly “empty warehouse” and wasn’t charged with a crime.
So why the big money hit in the civil case?
“You never know what exactly came out in testimony,” says the source. “Was it excessive force? Did (the homeless dude) really threaten (Jungerman) – was he in danger? But if he was, the jury probably wouldn’t have given such a large judgement. You know there are two homeless people there and he goes apeshit with an AK47.
“It wasn’t like they had broken into his home and threatened him physically. They broke into his business and he gets in his car with an assault rifle without calling the police and goes after them.”
For the uninformed, an AK47 is a gas powered rifle developed in the Soviet Union capable of firing at a combat rate in bursts of 100 rounds per minute.
As for Jungerman, from the get go, he appeared determined not to lose this case, says the source.
“He represented himself for a long time. Then he went through a couple of attorneys…And in the initial lawsuit they only asked for $100,000 plus costs. Which makes it interesting because it raises the question of why Jungerman didn’t settle the case before it went to trial?”
To that point…
“There are some clients who absolutely refuse to settle a case – they think they’re entitled. And sometimes an attorney says, ‘This is what they should do’ and the client says no. Then the attorney says, “Well then you need to get another attorney’ and the client fires them. And that appears to be the case here.”
The court seized Jungerman’s real estate on October 16th – just days before Pickert’s shooting.
So what kind of guy is Jungerman?
“He appears to be a very angry man,” says the source. “I mean, he’s had other cases, including ones that he appealed. He’s a fighter – I can tell you that. He sued Costco and lost several years ago. He got bad tires and (claimed) Costco wouldn’t fix them or something.”
The bottom line:
“I’m sure this guy (Jungerman) never thought in a million years this case would come back on him.”
And while the entire city awaits word from police, the legal community’s on pins and needles.
“Everybody’s kind of shaken by this,” says the source. “And I for one don’t want this to be a big deal in the news, because the more this stays a big deal in the news, some creepy people may think, “Maybe I should do this.’’And that scares me.. It’s very upsetting – it rattles me – because people are out of control.”
The $64 million question:
What possible motive might Jungerman have for harboring ill will against Pickert?
How about that of a nearly 80 year-old baby highchair hustler taking a nearly $6 million hit for defending his property against an illegal intrusion.