AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Damages: Jury Trial Right
An arrestee who
was suing several cities and police officers to recover damages for alleged
misconduct, including false arrest, in the course of an investigation into
alleged "scams" to defraud elderly women was entitled under Louisiana
law to add a city's liability insurance carrier as a defendant and was
entitled to a jury trial against the insurer. A state law prohibition against
a jury trial on claims against a political subdivision did not apply to
the political entity's liability insurer. Smith v. City of Lake Charles
Police Department, No. 03-155, 858 So. 2d 869 (La. App. 3d Cir. 2003).
306:83 Appeals court order to trial court to enter final judgment reducing amount of damages awarded to plaintiff by jury, without allowing possibility of plaintiff obtaining a new trial, violated Seventh Amendment constitutional right. Hetzel v. Prince William County, Va., 118 S.Ct. 1210 (1998).
275:165 Trial judge did not violate plaintiff's Seventh Amendment jury trial right by awarding a lower amount against the U.S. government on Federal Tort Claims Act claim than the amount a jury assessed as damages in a federal civil rights claim brought against arresting federal officer Engle v. Mecke, 24 F.3d 133 (10th Cir. 1994).
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