May 17, 2018

The firm successfully obtained a defendant’s verdict on six of seven causes of action on behalf of three Eastern Suffolk County Village Police Officers and Village, in Federal Court in an excessive force case. The plaintiff’s surviving family members alleged that the Police Officers used excessive force, failed to intervene to protect the plaintiff and assaulted and battered the decedent. The plaintiff also alleged that the Village failed to properly train the Officers in the proper techniques for interacting with emotionally disturbed people. During the Officers’ attempt to place the individual in custody, in order to escort him to obtain psychiatric treatment, a scuffle ensued, causing the plaintiff and the Officers to fall to the ground. During the struggle, the Officers employed a Taser device (in stun mode) and oleoresin capsicum (O.C. or pepper spray). The subject was ultimately restrained with handcuffs and ankle ties. In the resulting lawsuit, plaintiff’s family claimed that the Officers’ alleged use of excessive force, their failure to intervene to protect the plaintiff and the Village’s failure to properly train the officers caused the plaintiff’s injuries and death. After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Police Officers and Village on six of the seven causes of action. Despite their finding of liability on the one cause of action, the jury did not award any monetary compensatory or punitive damages.