Civil Rights Litigation, Generally: News and Publications

Murphy v. Smith

"Incarcerated men and women too often suffer horrific abuses that call out for recompense and deterrence... The lower court in this case imposed a rule that every damage award in a case 'brought by a prisoner' under 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(d) must be reduced automatically by 25%. That blanket rule not only conflicts with the text and intent of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(d), as the petitioner's brief shows, but it also undermines arbitrarily the deterrent and compensatory purposes of Section 1983."

$5M Settlement for Family of California Jail Detainee Dead Following 46-Hour Chair Restraint

Andrew Holland died at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on January 22nd, 2017. Incarcerated since 2015 for public disturbance and resisting arrest, a judge ultimately ordered psychiatric treatment for his schizophrenia, though his transfer to a psychiatric facility was not effected even though space was reportedly available at the county facility. Instead, prior to his death, Holland was placed in an isolation cell for ten days and then chair restraint for forty-six hours.

California Jury Returns $2.5M Verdict Against County in Jail Death

On August 30th, 2017, a McKinleyville federal jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against Humboldt County for the death of Daren Borges, whose right to adequate medical care was held to be violated by three correctional officers who failed to have him medically evaluated despite the apparent and well-documented extremity of his methamphetamine intoxication, self-harming behavior and known history of schizophrenia.

Family of Unarmed Texas 19-Year-Old Killed by Police Officer to Receive $850K Settlement

On May 22nd, 2017, the City Council of Arlington, Texas approved a settlement in the amount of $850,000 to the family of Christian Taylor, who was 19 in 2015 when he was shot and killed by a police officer investigating a vehicular burglary. A lawsuit was not filed, and Taylor's family worked with the city to negotiate a settlement for the shooting.

Montana County and Victim's Family Reach $1.25M Settlement in Police Shooting

In May 2017, the family of a Huntley, Montana man killed by two Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies agreed to a settlement of $1.25 million. The victim, Loren Simpson, was 28 in 2015 when former deputies Jason Robinson and Christopher Rudolph responded to a reported burglary. The deputies fired at least 24 shots at Simpson, although, according to a U.S. District Court judge, there was no proof Simpson had committed any crime.

$885K Settlement in Hartford, CT Police Shooting of Family Dog

In February 2017, the city of Hartford, Connecticut agreed to pay the family of Glen Harris $885,000 in settlement for the 2006 city police shooting of their 3-year-old Saint Bernard dog. Hartford Sergeants Anthony Pia and Johnmichael O'Hare entered Harris's property without a warrant in search of illegal weapons. Despite finding no contraband, as they walked away from the property they shot and killed the dog in full view of Harris's 12-year-old daughter.

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