EDNY: 2.5 Million in Excessive Force and False Arrest Case

A jury in the EDNY returned a verdict of 2.5 million on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered considerable and lasting physical and psychological injury from an assault and false arrest by NYPD officers .The jury found one officer liable for excessive force and awarded $250,000 in non-economic damages, $1.5M in economic loss, and $150,000 in punitive damages.The jurors found two other officers liable for false arrest, awarding $300,000 in non-economic compensatory damages, and $150,000 in punitive damages against each of them.

The incident arose from a 911 call of an assault. The four NYPD officers and defendants in the case spoke to the victim of the assault outside the building, then went to the second floor, where they confronted the plaintiff, whom they incorrectly believed was the perpetrator. The plaintiff was cooperative with police commands to put up his hands, but was grabbed and taken down, then picked up and thrown on a bed and handcuffed.  While on the bed he was punched in the side of the head by one of the defendant officers. It was undisputed at trial that the punch fractured the plaintiff's zygomatic arch. The plaintiff was released when the victim of the assault told the officers that he was not the perpetrator.

After apprehending the perpetrator of the assault moments later, two defendant officers returned to the precinct. The two officers concocted a story of the plaintiff resisting arrest in order to justify the use of force. After telling their Lt. about client's resistance, the Lt. ordered defendant officers to go back and arrest the plaintiff. He spent more than 9 hours in custody before being released without charges.

The plaintiff was represented by NPAP members Michael Spiegel, Scott Korenbaum and David Rankin.