A Salt Lake County man shot in the chest during a confrontation with gang members has filed suit against the youths' parents.

"This will get the message to parents that you'd better get a handle on the problem or you'll be liable when your kid goes out and starts shooting at somebody," said Danny Quintana, attorney for Jason Daniel Doherty, 21.Doherty was shot in the lower chest in front of his Holladay home on Aug. 9 after about a dozen gang members came to his home to pick a fight with his 15-year-old brother, according to a sheriff's report.

When Doherty struck 18-year-old Erik G. Anderson, someone said, "Cap him," and Anderson fired a pistol loaded with birdshot.

Anderson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted aggravated assault. Sentencing is set for Tuesday in 3rd Circuit Court.

The suit says the parents of the teens failed in their parental duties by allowing their children to engage in gang activities.

The suit asks for $55,000 for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering on behalf of Doherty, who still has about 40 pieces of birdshot in his body. The suit asks for punitive damages of $500,000.

Quintana said the teens involved in the Doherty shooting have learned nothing from the experience. At a Dec. 2 hearing, the suspects were laughing at the victim, pointing their fingers and saying, "Bang!" Quintana said.

"They think it's funny," Quintana said. "We'll give them and their parents something to laugh at."

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During the October special session, legislators debated at least two bills to hold parents responsible for juvenile gang-related crimes.

A bill by state Sen. Scott Howell, D-Sandy, would have forced parents to pay all court and incarceration costs caused by their children.

A bill backed by Rep. Ray Short, R-Holladay, would have doubled to $2,000 the state's legal limit on parents' monetary liability for property damage by their children, such as graffiti.

Neither bill passed. Lawmakers have promised to review them again during the regular legislative session, which starts in January.

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