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Excessive Force

April 3, 2013

The Firm successfully defended five Alabama police officers accused of excessive force in a lawsuit filed in federal court. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by three plaintiffs asserting more than 15 different claims (e.g., unlawful arrest, excessive force, conspiracy, assault and battery, and failure to properly train and supervise) against the police officers, the city which employs them, and its chief of police. Following extensive discovery, the Firm moved for and received a full summary judgment on all claims by two of the plaintiffs. Summary judgment was also granted on all claims by the third plaintiff except for his excessive force claim against the police officers for alleged actions taken after he was handcuffed. The case proceeded to trial in March 2013 with more than 20 witnesses expected to testify. However, following jury selection, the lone remaining plaintiff offered a settlement on terms favorable to the police officers, which was accepted. The court then dismissed the case. In a subsequent statement to The Birmingham News, Terry Sides (who was lead defense counsel) said, "The police officers involved in this case are exceptional public servants who put their lives on the line every day, as they did on the day of this incident, and they are glad that this case against them has been dismissed."

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