Home Intruder Sues Man Who Shot Him?

This is the sort of thing we warn people about. It sounds too incredible to be true, but this is proof that it happens.

Here’s a story reported by CBS Affiliate KPIX 5 in San Francisco about a man who shoots a home intruder then gets hit with a civil lawsuit from the guy he shot.

Note: You’ll have to sit through an advertisement before the news video begins.

Here’s the transcript from the video:

A Bay Area man said he is struggling to pay his legal fees after a home intruder he shot filed a lawsuit against him.

Joe Balistreri could hardly believe an intruder sued him for negligent use of a handgun. “That is my biggest issue, our judicial system allows these people to have the right to try to sue,” he told KPIX 5.

Balistreri said he was merely protecting his family. “I had no choice given the circumstances,” he said.

On March 24, 2012, his family was spending the night at his parents’ home in Foster City. At 4:15 a.m., a noise woke him up.

“I heard the noise coming from the front door. I heard clicking, rattling of the door handle,” he recalled. “I woke up my father, told him someone’s trying to break into your house, where’s your gun?”

Balistreri said the intruder did not stop at the front door. He jumped the fence, made his way around the back of the house, through a side door and into the garage, left unlocked.

“This guy is now in my house,” he recalled.

In the dark home, Balistreri came face-to-face with the 6’4″ intruder and fired three shots.

But here’s the catch, the plaintiff said he was intoxicated and thought he was walking into his friend’s house.

“There was no knocking, there was no announcement, there was no nothing,” Balistreri said.

Months after the incident, there was a civil suit.

In the end, the judge sided with Balistreri. With mounting legal fees, he launched a GoFundMe account in hopes of once and for all paying off his debt and putting that horrific night behind him.

“This guy put a huge burden on my shoulders,” Balistreri said.

Prosecutors didn’t file charges in the case. Since the shooting happened at Balistreri’s parents’ house, their homeowner’s insurance covered only their legal fees, not his.

Does it make any sense? No. Should civil suits like this be allowed? No. But this is the reality for gun owners.

All it takes is a bad guy with chutzpah and a lawyer. Even if you win the legal battle, you are still in debt for who knows how much money to pay your legal fees. And some people launch a civil suit for this reason alone … to punish you with debt for a case they may know they can’t win.

This is why Second Call Defense membership at the Defender and Ultimate level includes UNLIMITED funds for defense against a civil lawsuit. It lets you fight as long and as hard as you need to win a case like this and not have to worry about how you’ll pay your legal bills. It may even act as a deterrent. When some bad guy’s lawyer sees you can’t be pressured or intimidated and can really fight the case, they might not even press the case against you.

Most people are worried about criminal charges, and that’s no laughing matter to be sure. But the civil case is where someone can really destroy you. And you need to be prepared.

You can find details on our unlimited civil protection here.