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Excessive Force

October 7, 2015

The Firm won summary judgment for two Alabama police officers in a lawsuit against them arising from their arrest of a drunk driver. Discovery revealed that from the onset of the arrest, the plaintiff was angry, abusive, and threatening toward the officers. The plaintiff continued to misbehave and confront the officers after arriving at the city jail for a sobriety test.

 

When the plaintiff attempted to assault and spit on the officers, one of them pushed him to the floor to avoid the assault. The second officer assisted in subduing the plaintiff. The plaintiff was then transported to the county jail, during which he continued his verbal assault on the first officer, threatening him and his family and repeatedly kicking the rear door and window of the car to escape. After pleading guilty to driving drunk, the plaintiff sued the police officers for excessive force, claiming mental and emotional injuries, as well as aggravation of a prior on-the-job injury to his neck and left arm.

 

After extensive discovery, the Firm filed a motion for summary judgment for the two police officers. The plaintiff responded with an expert witness who criticized the officers’ use of force on the plaintiff. The court not only agreed with the Firm that the plaintiff's expert's criticism of the officers was inadmissible evidence, but that the officers were also entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

Terry Sides handled the case for the Firm, with the assistance of Richard Whitaker.

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