AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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A man served
his full ten year sentence for rape and residential burglary, after which
his conviction was vacated because of newly available DNA evidence. He
sued a police detective involved in his case, accusing him of fabrication
of evidence. Overturning a trial court's dismissal of the lawsuit, a federal
appeals court found that the claim did not accrue until the plaintiff was
acquitted of all charges, so that the lawsuit was filed in a timely fashion
within the applicable three year statute of limitations and was not time
barred. The appeals court did not address the detective's qualified immunity
defense, as the court below had not reached the issue. Bradford v. Scherschligt,
#14-35651, 803 F.3d 382 (9th Cir. 2015).
An autistic Muslim man was shot and killed by a police officer after allegedly lunging at him with a knife. In a lawsuit by his family, his estate, and thee organizations, it was also claimed that the coroner took custody of his body but did not notify his family until twenty-one days later and the delay prevented his family from burying him in accordance with the religions customs of Islam. A jury awarded $1 million in excessive force damages to the estate, which was struck by the trial judge. $700,000 in state law wrongful death damages was also awarded. A federal appeals court reversed in part, finding that a California state statute disallowing awards for pre-death pain and suffering did not apply to a federal civil rights excessive force claim. The trial court erroneously erred in dismissing certain state law claims as duplicative, as under state law, an award of a multiplier of the attorneys' fees could be awarded, something not available on the federal claims. Substantive due process and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims brought by the decedent's siblings were properly rejected. A negligence claim against the coroner for failure to provide timely notice of the death was reinstated, as there was a mandatory duty under state law to make a reasonable effort to locate the decedent's family. The coroner did not, however, violate equal protection, as he did not act with intent to discriminate on the basis of religion, and he did not deprive the parents of a property right. Chaudhry v. City of Los Angeles, #11-55820, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9208 (9th Cir.), and 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9226 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
A 17-year-old boy died after being struck in the chest with a Taser dart. A jury awarded about $10 million against the manufacturer of the Taser. The plaintiffs asserted a products liability claim against Taser, arguing that the current of an X26 captures the heart rhythm of those subjected to it, speeding up and disorganizing the rhythm of their son's heart, and causing a ventricular fibrillation, a lethal arrhythmia which caused his death. The plaintiffs claimed that Taser failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions. The jury's award was ruled excessive by the court, which initially reduced it to $4,372,399, but subsequently amended that reduction to $5,491,503.65. The plaintiff also received a settlement of $625,000 from the city on an excessive force claim, as well as $40,000 from a workers' compensation award. The teenager was Tasered by the officer at the store he refused to leave after being fired for insubordination. In the most recent development, a federal appeals court ruled that judgment was properly entered for the plaintiff on the liability aspect of the case based on the jury's verdict on a failure to warn product liability claim. The manufacturer's motion for judgment as a matter of law was properly denied as there was evidence from which it could be found that a failure to warn caused the death and that the warnings provided were inadequate. But the damages awarded were not adequately supported by the evidence so further proceedings were ordered on that aspect of the case. Fontenot v. Taser Int'l, Inc., #12-1617, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 23510 (4th Cir.).
The plaintiff was awarded $25 million in a federal civil rights malicious prosecution lawsuit claiming that a police officer and the city violated his due process rights in that coercive tactics were used to get witnesses to falsely identify him as a murderer, leading to his conviction and 16 years of incarceration before he was exonerated. The federal appeals court upheld the award. The sustaining of a Batson racial discrimination objection to a peremptory challenge by the defendants against a black juror was not reversible error when there was no indication that it resulted in a biased juror sitting on the case. It also was not erroneous to allow the plaintiff's expert witness to testify as to what were reasonable police practices. He did not state a legal conclusion or offer any opinion about whether other witnesses were credible. Jimenez v. City of Chicago, #12-2779, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 20438 (7th Cir.).
A 13-year-old boy and his friends were playing cops and robbers in a park at night, using toy guns. Two officers on patrol came through the park, and saw the boy standing behind a parked car. One of them ordered the boy not to move and then shot him when he stepped out from behind the van. The bullet resulted in the boy being hit in the chest and paralyzed. A jury awarded a total of $24 million on claims for negligence and excessive force. The award was reduced to $19.2 million. The jury found the officer 80 percent negligent, the boy's mother 15 percent negligent, possibly for buying the realistic looking toy gun, and the boy 5 percent negligent. The officer claimed to have seen the boy holding the toy gun, which he assumed was real, and said that he had feared for his life. Eriza v. Abarca, #BC-453870, Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 14, 2012).
A man about to take his children trick-or-treating was arrested on charges of armed robbery and attempted murder, and convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony despite a lack of physical evidence. Ten years after the arrest, the conviction was overturned, and the case ultimately dismissed. He sued, claiming that his wrongful conviction was based on police misconduct in soliciting multiple statements to falsely implicate him, and in staging a suggestive photo lineup. A jury awarded him $73,125 in compensatory damages and $5,000 in punitive damages for his eight years of wrongful incarceration after his conviction. The trial court improperly denied his motion for a new trial, in which he argued that the average jury award for wrongful imprisonment was almost $950,000 per year. The trial court improperly refused to allow the plaintiff to present evidence of his actual innocence at trial, such as the identification of others as the possible offenders and recantations of his identification by a number of eyewitnesses. This may have impacted on the jury returning a low damage award, especially as the court had allowed evidence of the plaintiff's prior identification as the perpetrator by the eyewitnesses. Parish v. City of Elkhart, #11-1669, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 25998 (7th Cir.).
A federal trial jury awarded $2.58 million against a town and six officers for actions taken involving the use of pepper spray against 23 individuals attending a baptismal party at a house. No damages were awarded to another 56 plaintiffs who attended the same party. The federal appeals court ruled that the judgment appeared to have allowed 13 of the successful plaintiffs to improperly receive double recovery for their injuries--once on their federal claims against the officers and once on their state law claims against the town on the basis of vicarious liability for the officer's actions. The appeals court ordered that, on remand, the judgment be amended to avoid the possibility of double recovery. Duran v. Town of Cicero, #08-2467, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 16360 (7th Cir.).
The mother of a man shot in the head and killed by an officer sued the city for wrongful death. A jury awarded damages. An intermediate appeals court found that the trial judge had properly set aside $3 million in damages awarded for conscious pain and suffering, as the man's death was almost instantaneous and there was no evidence of his consciousness for any period of time following the shooting. The appeals court upheld, however, jury awards of $55,020 for loss of past economic support, $261,091 for past and future loss of services, and punitive damages of $2.7 million, finding them amply supported by the evidence. The appeals court stated that the trial judge had improperly concluded that the jury awarded punitive damages in part on a finding that the officer had negligently handled his weapon. The appeals court found that the jury award of punitive damages was based on a finding of excessive force, and conduct that was wanton, reckless or malicious. Ferguson v. City of New York, #2630, 18951/01, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 4428 (1st Dept.).
After the defendants had admitted liability for the wrongful death of a woman's son, shooting and killing him while arresting another person, a jury awarded $12.5 million in damages following a trial that was supposed to be limited to the issue of damages. The manner of death and the question of whether or not the officer, in firing, had acted willfully and wantonly were immaterial to assessment of damages, so that an instruction on willful and wanton conduct was confusing and improperly given, and repeated comments by the plaintiff's lawyer asking the jury to "examine willful and wanton admitted conduct" were not based on the evidence, but were instead appeals to prejudice and emotion. A new trial on damages was therefore required. Pleasance v. City of Chicago, #1-08-1510, 2009 Ill. App. Lexis 1230 (1st Dist.).
A federal jury returned a $2.58 million verdict against the town of Cicero and five officers, as well as a jail employee for actions taken during a September 2000 baptismal party in which 79 plaintiffs claimed that officers used pepper spray against attendees. The award was made in favor of 23 of the plaintiffs, which no damages were awarded to 56 of the plaintiffs. Alejandro Duran, et al. v. Town of Cicero, et al., No. 01 C 6858 (U.S. District Ct., N.D. Ill.), reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Volume: 154 Issue: 033 (February 15, 2008).
Motorist who was detained for allegedly producing a counterfeit driver's license, but who was released when the authenticity of the license was verified was properly awarded only $400 in damages by a jury in his federal civil rights lawsuit. While the plaintiff was in custody for two to three hours, he was never placed under arrest, and presented no medical evidence of injury. His sole evidence of damages was his wife's testimony that he was humiliated in the community by these events. Under these circumstances, the jury acted reasonably in only awarding him nominal damages, and he was not entitled to a new trial or to an award of attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988. Chen v. City of New York, #28331/02, 2007 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 7145 (Sup. Court. Queens County).
A jury awarded a flower vendor damages totaling $73,000 on claims for false arrest and imprisonment, including non-economic damages of $50,000 for pain and suffering in connection with the two nights the plaintiff was in jail, $3,000 for six arrests in which he was told to appear in court and did not suffer incarceration, $10,000 for past economic damages, and $10,000 for future economic damages. On appeal, the court found that there was no evidence produced from which the jury could have concluded that the plaintiff's future earnings had been impaired, and, in fact, the available evidence showed that his earnings increased after the arrests, so that the $10,000 awarded for future economic damages was reversed. Miami-Dade County vs. Cardoso, No. 3D06-2118, 2007 Fla. App. Lexis 12257 (3rd Dist.).
Federal appeals court upholds $1.3 million award of compensatory and punitive damages against police officers for allegedly using excessive force against two arrestees. Evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to arrive at a finding of liability, and the defendants failed to preserve for appeal any question about whether the compensatory damages awarded were excessive. The punitive damages award of $250,000 against each of the four defendants was not excessive under the circumstances if the jury believed the plaintiffs' version of the incident, amounting to an unjustified assault by the officers. Casillas-Diaz v. Palau, No. 04-1303, 463 F.3d 77 (1st Cir.). [N/R]
State troopers found liable by jury for $6.725 million for alleged excessive use of force against an occupant of a home being searched for drugs were entitled to a new trial based on prejudicial comments made by the plaintiff's attorney during closing arguments raising issues not before the jury, and the excessive amount of the award. Christopher v. State of Florida, No. 04-16319, 449 F.3d 1360 (11th Cir. May 26, 2006) [2006 LR Aug]
Federal appeals court upholds reduction of damages from $1,104,000 to $464,000 in lawsuit arrestee brought arising out of his arrest and prosecution for "public lewdness" in a transit station restroom, while rejecting the argument that the damages should have been further reduced. Plaintiff was also awarded $301,167.26 in attorneys' fees and costs. Martinez v. Port Auth. of New York & New Jersey, No. 04-6636, 445 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Jul]
Officers were properly held liable for shooting man in the leg while he fled from the scene of an arson at a garage, when jury rejected their claim of self-defense. Federal appeals court overturns jury awards against city, mayor, and police commissioner, however, finding no evidence of inadequate training or discipline. Compensatory damages of $4 million to shot man, however, found excessive by $1 million, and awards of $500,000 to each of his parents also found excessive by $400,000 each. Punitive damage awards of $15,000 against each of two officers upheld. Whitfield v. Melendez-Rivera, No. 04-1217, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 26549 (1st Cir.). [2006 LR Jan]
Plaintiff who was awarded $35,000 in compensatory and $6,000 in punitive damages in his civil rights lawsuit against three state troopers for allegedly arresting him without probable cause was not entitled to pre-judgment interest when none of his losses were economic losses, since the award of compensatory damages "made him whole." Had he been awarded damages for economic losses previously experienced, pre-judgment interest may have been available. Robinson v. Fetterman, No. Civ.A. 04-3502, 387 F. Supp. 2d 483 (E.D. Pa. 2005). [N/R]
Police officer whose improper application of handcuffs to arrested 16-year-old allegedly caused a 1.3% permanent impairment was not entitled to a directed verdict in an excessive force lawsuit. Plaintiff was properly awarded $153,000 in damages and $51,692.15 in attorneys' fees. Hanig v. Lee, No. 04-2758, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 14436 (8th Cir.). [2005 LR Sep]
New Mexico jury's award of $55,000 in damages for deputy sheriff's false arrest and imprisonment of plaintiff was properly reduced to $41,250 based on the jury's finding that the arrestee was 25% negligent and the deputy was 25% negligent in connection with the incident. The jury's finding that the deputy's belief that the plaintiff was resisting or obstructing an officer was "unreasonable" rather than "intentional" was closer to a finding of negligence than intentional misconduct, justifying the application of the doctrine of comparative negligence to reduce the damage award. Garcia v. Gordon, No. 23,938, 98 P.3d 1044 (N.M. App. 2004). [N/R]
Jury award of $300,000 in compensatory and $1 million in punitive damages to arrestee and estate of second arrestee (who committed suicide months after arrest) on excessive force claims was not excessive. Diaz v. Vivoni, 301 F. Supp. 2d 92 (D. Puerto Rico 2003). [N/R]
County was properly held liable for death of arrestee subjected to "total appendage restraint procedure," when expert testimony indicated that he died of positional asphyxia, but jury's assessment of damages at $2 million was excessive when decedent had limited future financial prospects, and probably would have been sent back to prison, had he survived, for firing a gun at passing motorists in a busy intersection. Nelson v. County of Los Angeles, #B161431, 113 Cal. App. 4th 783, 6 Cal. Rptr. 3d 650 (Cal. App. 2003). [2004 LR Mar]
Deputy sheriff was properly awarded $225,000 in damages against newspaper, its editor/publisher, and a columnist, based on articles which called him a "murderer" and accused him of beating a handcuffed arrestee to death with a flashlight. Georgia appeals court finds that statements were published with knowledge that they were false, or in reckless disregard of the truth. Lake Park Post, Inc. v. Farmer, #A03A0841, 590 S.E.2d 254 (Ga. App. 2003). [2004 LR Mar]
In lawsuit claiming that police officers failed to provide adequate medical care to arrestee, resulting in his death, jury engaged in improper speculation in awarding $3 million to decedent's children without evidence to support a finding that the economic value of the loss of his services, advice, and counsel was worth that amount, and therefore was set aside by trial judge. Separate award of $2.5 million to decedent's estate for his pain and suffering was not disturbed. Rosario v. City of Union City Police Department, 263 F. Supp. 2d 874 (D.N.J. 2003). [N/R]
Pedestrian struck by police department motor scooter in mall area of public park was properly awarded $5,795,015 in damages when expert testimony showed that her brain injuries placed her at risk for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, seizures and dementia. Reed v. City of New York, 757 N.Y.S.2d 244 (A.D. 1st Dept. 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
Evidence was sufficient for jury to award $15,000 to man beaten by police officer while sergeant stood by, but an award of $2 million in punitive damages was excessive, federal trial court rules, citing new U.S. Supreme Court case on proportionality of punitive damages to compensatory damages. Trial judge orders reduction of punitives to 45,000 or else a new trial on the issue of punitive damages. Waits v. City of Chicago, No. 01C4010, U.S. Dist. Ct. N.D. Ill. June 6, 2003, reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, p. 1 (June 9, 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
Jury could reasonably conclude that an arresting officer used excessive force in light of arrestee's claim that he was an "innocent bystander" and had done nothing to provoke the officer except express his concern about alleged mistreatment of others, and that the officer continued to use force against him after he was in custody and subdued. Force allegedly used included throwing the arrestee to the ground after he was handcuffed, striking him in the back of the head, and kneeing him. Award of $5,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages was not excessive when plaintiff had injuries resulting in $173 in medical expenses and claimed that he suffered fear, pain, and humiliation because of the officer's actions. Burbank v. Davis, 238 F. Supp. 2d 317 (D. Maine 2003). [N/R]
Jurors could reasonably find that actions by state police in failing to send assistance to truck driver in backing an 18-wheeler truck loaded with overhanging poles out onto the highway did not render them liable for the deaths of two occupants of a car which collided with the truck as it backed out after sunset without a police escort. Officers believed that driver would not make such an attempt after sunset, when the driver indicated that he knew it would be illegal for him to be on the road at that time. Trial judge properly found sheriffs' office, however, 20% at fault for failing to respond to request for assistance. General damages of $400,000 to each of ten adult children of two parents killed ordered, increasing prior award of $200,000 each, based on children's close relationship with parents, and fact that the parents were killed on Mother's Day, after celebrating that day with their children. Davis v. Witt, #01-894, 831 So. 2d 1075 (La. App. 2002). [N/R]
Nebraska Supreme Court rejects argument by mother of cross-dressing woman that $98,223 in damages for failure of county sheriff to protect her daughter against murder by two men she accused of rape was inadequate. Court notes that mother's relationship with her daughter was "strained." Brandon v. County of Richardson, #S-01-1158, 653 N.W.2d 829 (Neb. 2002). [2003 LR Apr]
Jury properly awarded damages to estate of man shot and killed as he held his mother hostage with a knife and threatened to kill her if his ex-girlfriend was not brought to him, D.C. high court rules, but jury's $2.1 million compensatory damages award is reduced to $180,000, and $3.999 million punitive damage award was improper since there was no evidence to support a finding that the officers shot the decedent with an "evil motive" or "actual malice." District of Columbia v. Jackson, No. 99-CV-756, 810 A.2d 388 (D.C. 2002). [2003 LR Mar]
Jury's award of $250,000 in damages for past pain and suffering to motorist for injuries suffered in fight with off-duty police officer was excessive, requiring a new trial unless the plaintiff agreed to a reduction to $150,000 for that portion of the award. Becker v. City of New York, 745 N.Y.S.2d 857 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct. 2002). [N/R]
Trial court's refusal to further reduce jury's award of $3.5 million of non-economic damages below $1.25 million it granted was not an abuse of discretion in a federal civil rights action by an arrestee who suffered permanent damages, including the loss of an eye, from officers' alleged use of excessive force following pulling him over for traffic offenses. County was vicariously liable, under Maryland law, for officers' violation of state constitutional rights. McCollum v. McDaniel, #01-1578, 32 Fed. Appx. 49 (4th Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Oct]
City and officer were properly held liable for $250,000 for making an arrest of a man in a washroom for "lewd conduct" without probable cause. Arrestee's conduct fell short of giving a reasonable officer grounds for an arrest, and damages were not grossly excessive, based in part on arrestee's mistaken impression that he faced sex offender registration if convicted of the offense. Fonseca v. City of Long Beach, #00-56714, 33 Fed. Appx. 846 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Aug]
Jury properly awarded compensatory damages of $15,184 and punitive damages of $37,916 to bystander documenting police conduct at event who claimed that an officer assaulted him and tackled him to the ground while he had his hands up in the air. Defendant officer was not unfairly prejudiced by the admission of evidence concerning the conduct of other officers present on the occasion. Cummings v. Libby, 176 F. Supp. 2d 26 (D. Maine 2001). [2002 LR May]
Damage award of $3.5 million in non-economic damages to an arrestee who suffered the loss of one eye and an impairment to his left hand in an alleged assault by police officers was excessive under both federal and Maryland state law. Punitive damage awards of $150,000 each against two officers and $100,000 against a third were also excessive. Court orders reduction of non-economic compensatory damages to $1.25 million and of punitive damages to $50,000 each against two offices and $35,000 against a third, or, in the alternative, a new trial on damages. McCollum v. McDaniel, 136 F. Supp. 2d 172 (D. Md. 2001). [N/R]
345:133 Married couple who triggered alarm when they entered lit, apparently open convenience store were properly awarded damages for false arrest and assault based on deputies treatment of them after arriving on the scene and finding no evidence of crime; deputy used excessive force against wife by spraying her twice in the face with "OC" spray at close range; appeals court reduces damages awarded as excessive. Park v. Shiflett, No. 00-1809, 250 F.3d 843 (4th Cir. 2001).
344:118 Jury award in shooting by off-duty officer reduced from $29 million to $3.095 million; city's "bad- faith" failure to make payments under structured settlement results in court order accelerating payment of entire amount. Summerville v. City of New York, 723 N.Y.S.2d 208 (A.D. 2001).
342:90 County sheriff had a duty to protect cross- dressing rape victim against threats by her assailants that they would kill her if she reported the crime; sheriff's "demeaning" and "accusatory" statements to victim during interview were "outrageous" as a matter of law; Nebraska Supreme Court rules that mother of murdered rape victim must be awarded full $80,000 for decedent's pain and suffering, as well as some amount for loss of companionship and orders further proceedings on emotional distress claim based on sheriff's conduct. Brandon v. County of Richardson, #S-00-022, 624 N.W.2d 604 (Neb. 2001).
342:84 Man who suffered permanent brain damage after an assault by police officers was properly awarded $700,000 for past and future pain and suffering, but was also properly denied any award for lost earnings when he was unemployed at the time of the incident and receiving "social security benefits," according to his own testimony. Ramirez v. City of New York, 719 N.Y.S.2d 289 (A.D. 2001).
344:118 N.Y. court finds that $150,000, rather than $500,000 award by jury, was the maximum permissible award for past pain and suffering for plaintiff in false arrest lawsuit who suffered a torn rotator cuff but was able to work without corrective surgery and control his pain with aspirin. Hafner v. County of Onondaga, 723 N.Y.S.2d 574 (A.D. 2000).
340:53 New York appellate court reduces total damages awarded for emotional distress, false arrest, and malicious prosecution from jury's award of $250,000 to $135,000, including reduction in punitive damages from $100,000 to $50,000. Lynch v. County of Nassau, 717 N.Y.S.2d 248 (A.D. 2000).
339:36 After evidence of 80 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms seized from airplane were suppressed in criminal prosecution of plane owner, he could not recover, in subsequent federal civil rights case, damages related to the expenses of defending against the criminal charges. Hector v. Watt, No. 00-3084, 235 F.3d 154 (3rd Cir. 2000).
335:164 Arrestee who claimed that officers beat him while he was handcuffed, despite the lack of resistance on his part, did not have to show direct monetary losses to recover compensatory damages; damages could be based on pain and suffering or emotional distress, and, even without actual injury, he might be entitled to nominal damages. Slicker v. Jackson, No. 99-10592, 215 F.3d 1225 (11th Cir. 2000).
325:3 Arrestee could not seek to recover damages from arresting officers for his prosecution, conviction and incarceration in a case where his conviction was later overturned based on a finding of illegal search of taxicab; officers' actions did not cause prosecution, conviction or incarceration. Townes v. City of New York, #99-2259 & 98-2309, 176 F.3d 138 (2d Cir. 1999).
326:21 Louisiana trial court properly awarded $90,000 lump amount (to be reduced by 1/3 for plaintiff's degree of fault) to motorist allegedly injured by "too tight" handcuffing after he attempted to leave the scene while officer was writing traffic tickets; state Supreme Court rules, however, that motorist was not entitled to an additional $89,600 for psychiatric expenses, since therapy concerned many matters, such as his marriage and father's death. Bryan v. City of New Orleans, No. 98-1263, 737 So. 2d 696 (La. 1999).
335:164 Plaintiff was entitled to the full $40,000 in damages found by jury in false arrest case, despite jury finding that he was 60% at fault for the damages for failure to identify himself; court rules that, since jury also found that police had no basis to arrest plaintiff at all, his failure to identify himself could not be used to reduce the city's liability. Scott v. City of New York, 699 N.Y.S.2d 642 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct. 1999).
322:152 Trial court rules that former police officer who was awarded $3 million in jury trial over First Amendment, false arrest, and emotional distress claims must accept a reduction in the award to $150,000 or else face a new trial on damages; court overturns jury's false arrest award. Mihalick v. Town of Simsbury, 37 F.Supp. 2d 125 (D. Conn. 1999).
314:24 Jury awards $160,000 each to two men detained for three hours by officers after store employees reported that they appeared similar to a drawing of robbery suspects in a "wanted" poster; trial judge rules that awards were excessive and that $15,000 to each plaintiff would be appropriate. Peterson v. County of Nassau, 995 F.Supp. 305 (E.D.N.Y. 1998).
313:4 Jury's award of $13,000 for future pain and suffering and failure to award any damages for medical expenses or past pain and suffering required new trial on damages in case where jury found that officer, although having probable cause for arrest, effected arrest in a negligent manner which caused injury to arrestee. Restey v. Higgins, 675 N.Y.S.2d 725 (A.D. 1998).
302:19 Arrestee was only entitled to one award of $1,000 when jury found that those were the damages he suffered; jury's action in then awarding him this amount on each of three claims--false arrest/imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process--resulted in impermissible multiple recovery; Rhode Island Supreme Court also overturns $75,000 punitive damage award against municipality as improper. Graff v. Motta, 695 A.2d 486 (R.I. 1997).
303:35 Jury's failure to award damages for pain and suffering in false arrest case was not erroneous when there was no showing that plaintiff, falsely arrested by deputy, was injured in the process. Black v. Crowder, 693 So.2d 649 (Fla. App. 1997).
310:151 Jury properly found plaintiff 60% at fault for his own injuries when he was shot fleeing from police after allegedly engaging in criminal conduct; jury could properly find that he "assumed the risk" of injury; city liable for $60,000 out of $150,000 in damages found by jury. Fernandez v. City of New York, 669 N.Y.S.2d 20 (A.D. 1998).
311:163 Jury's finding of excessive force used during unlawful arrest was inconsistent with its award of nominal damages and no compensatory damages; appeals court orders new trial on all issues, since jury's award may have reflected a "compromise" verdict. Atkins v. New York City, 143 F.3d 100 (2nd Cir. 1998).
292:52 Federal appeals court rules that $300,700 award to arrestee for false arrest, battery, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress was excessive and orders new trial unless plaintiff agrees to $150,000 reduction; jury was not properly instructed and aggregate award included duplicative compensation Bender v. City of New York, 78 F.3d 787 (2nd Cir. 1996).
285:132 Federal appeals court upholds award of $151,05558 in compensatory damages and $81,37722 in attorneys' fees and costs to man allegedly beaten in his home by officer responding to domestic disturbance call; trial court did not err in admitting evidence of future lost profits from plaintiff's business of rehabbing and selling residential real estate or in using a higher per-hour dollar figure for plaintiff's attorneys than is typical in the same market area for defense lawyers in federal civil rights lawsuits Malloy v. Monahan, 73 F.3d 1012 (10th Cir. 1996). [Cross-reference: Assault and Battery: Physical; Attorneys' Fees: For Plaintiff]
275:167 Jury instruction informing it that city would indemnify officer for compensatory damages and attorney's statement to jury that city could indemnify officer for punitive damages required new trial on issue of compensatory and punitive damages awarded in federal civil rights suit against officer by detainee Larez v. Holcomb, 16 F.3d 1513 (9th Cir. 1994).
New York appeals court finds that $400,000 award for past and future pain and suffering in assault lawsuit against officer was excessive; orders new trial on damages unless plaintiff agrees to reduction of award to $227,777 Bersani v. Town of Cicero, 605 N.Y.S.2d 589 (A.D. 1993).
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