Verdicts

Police Misconduct - Excessive Force Claims

  • After receiving a call from a nursing home employee, police officers conducted a Terry stop of individual who was reportedly involved in a disturbance with a staff member as a result of visiting his mother. After refusing officers' orders to stop when he exited the facility, officers arrested the individual. He claimed the officers injured him during the investigation, however, a jury found in favor of the officers. Pellico v. Village of Hinsdale et al., 07 C 7042 (N.D. Ill. 2011).
  • After being flagged down by a bar manager of a local tavern after bar patron was removed from tavern following a physical altercation, police officers arrested bar patron for aggravated assault to police officers. Bar patron claimed all of his physical injuries were the result of excessive force inside the police station. A federal jury found the officers did not use excessive force against bar patron. Baxa v. Village of Villa Park et al., 08 C 3184 (N.D. Ill. 2010).
  • 83 year old woman alleged she was subjected to excessive force after police officer placed his hands on her right arm in an effort to coax her out of a WalMart store after she refused his verbal requests to leave after she previously refused management's request to leave after creating a verbal disturbance in the store when her adult son received a scratch on his arm after brushing up an old firehose box. A jury found that police officer did not seize woman and rendered verdict in officer's favor which was affirmed on appeal. Carlson v. Bukovic et al., 621 F.3d 610 (7th Cir. 2010).
  • Mother of teenage son was injured after police officers executed a search warrant for a firearm and firearm related items in mother's house and claimed officers used excessive force against her. Jury found that the officer did not use excessive force against mother. Pena-Bosque v. Bianchi, 04 C 3760 (N.D. Ill. 2006)
  • A 78-year-old woman was arrested as a result of a domestic disturbance and she sought money damages when the arresting officer dislocated her right shoulder while attempting to place handcuffs on her. A federal jury found the officer acted reasonably. Manzella v. Village of Bridgeview, 01 C 8202 (N.D. Ill. 2006)
  • A 15-year-old arrestee filed suit alleging a police officer used excessive force while trying to break up a fight where he suffered a fractured left wrist. A federal jury found that the arresting officer's actions were reasonable. Ferguson v. City of Elgin, 99 C 4896 (N.D.Ill. 2003)
  • Police officers responded to a barricaded gunman but after several hours, the gunman escaped the residence. The gunman was shot by a police officer who accidentally discharged one round of an AR-15 and, thinking that the muzzle flash he saw came from the gunman, fired 3 more rounds that killed the gunman. No shots were fired by the gunman. Gunman's family sought damages but a federal jury found that the officer's actions were reasonable and judgment was affirmed on appeal. Palma v. Edwards, No. 03-2019 2004 WL 1435213 (7th Cir. 2004)
  • A 46-year-old woman filed suit as a result of altercation between her and police officers when they stopped her from riding in an ambulance with a stabbing victim. Federal jury found that the officers did not use excessive force. Graves v. Thiel, 01 C 7714 (N.D. Ill. 2002)

Police Misconduct - Illegal Search

  • After observing a vehicle with weathered temporary registration and "for sale" signs, police officer ran registration in computer and found the temporary plates belonged to another vehicle. Officer stopped vehicle and ticketed driver for improper use of registration and no insurance. Officer searched vehicle and driver was released with two tickets. Federal jury found that the traffic stop, issuance of traffic tickets and subsequent search of vehicle were lawful. Washington v. Kein et al., 07 C 698 (N.D. Ill. 2009)
  • Police officers stopped a motorist who fit description provided by anonymous 911 call of a man taking photographs of children in the neighborhood. Officers searched motorist and vehicle incident to arrest for motor vehicle infractions and obtained consent to search motorist's residence. Court directed verdict in favor of the officers at the close of motorist's case during jury trial which was affirmed on appeal. Davis v. Novy, 433 F.3d 926 (7th Cir. 2006)
  • Police officers responded to residence for a well-being check after homeowner was reported to be suicidal. After attempting to locate homeowner to no avail, police officers broke into home without a warrant. Later, when homeowner returned home, he called police to report a break-in. A federal jury found the officers' actions were justified by exigent circumstances. Cuchna v. Reinhart, 03 C 5191 (N.D. Ill. 2005)
  • A 41-year-old woman was arrested for DUI and taken to city jail where she was patted down. Woman claimed that she was strip searched by City denied conducting strip search. A jury found in favor of the City and police officers. Leinen v. City of Elgin, 98 C 8225 (N.D.Ill. 2001)

Police Misconduct - False Arrest

  • After receiving a call from a nursing home employee, police officers conducted a Terry stop of individual who was reportedly involved in a disturbance with a staff member as a result of visiting his mother. After refusing officers' orders to stop when he exited the facility, officers arrested the individual. He claimed the officers had no probable cause to detain or arrest him, however, a jury found in favor of the officers. Pellico v. Village of Hinsdale et al., 07 C 7042 (N.D. Ill. 2011).
  • After being flagged down by a bar manager of a local tavern after bar patron was removed from tavern following a physical altercation, police officersarrested bar patron for aggravated assault to police officers. Bar patron claimed he was falsely arrested despite being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault in DuPage County Circuit Court. Court directed verdict in favor of police officers. Baxa v. Village of Villa Park et al., 08 C 3184 (N.D. Ill. 2010)
  • Police officers stopped a motorist who fit description of anonymous 911 call of a man taking photographs of children in the neighborhood. Officers arrested motorist for various motor vehicle infractions. Motorist contended the traffic stop for motor vehicle infractions was an unlawful pretextual stop based on anonymous 911 call. Court found officers had probable cause to stop motorist and directed verdict in favor of the officers at the close of motorist's case during jury trial which was affirmed on appeal. Davis v.Novy, 433 F.3d 926 (7th Cir. 2006)

Police Misconduct - Malicious Prosecution

  • Upset customer of hair salon left salon with coloring foils still in her hair without paying for service. Police officer responded to call from salon and customer was arrested for theft of service. The misdemeanor charge was eventually nolle prossed. Jury awarded $1 dollar in damages against officer. Peterson v. Gibson, 97 C 4123 (N.D. Ill. 2001)

First Amendment - Freedom of Speech

  • Officer arrested male homeowner for disorderly conduct after he refused to take down Halloween decorations that made disparaging references to neighbors who had supported a village ordinance prohibiting the continued parking of homeowners' motor home in front of their house. Jury agreed with officer's argument that tombstones' references constituted "fighting words" not protected by the First Amendment. Homeowners have appealed this case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Purtell v. Mason, 04 C 7005 (N.D. Ill. 2006)

Employment - Discrimination

  • Greek police officer who scored number one on police department's sergeant's exam filed suit for discrimination when police chief promoted the number two and number three candidates on the list. Officer also claimed that he was subjected to offensive Greek jokes and a hostile environment condoned by the command officers. Jury found that the officer was not subject to discrimination or a hostile work environment. Drikos v. City of Palos Heights, 03 C 3398 (N.D. Ill. 2005)

Housing – Discrimination

  • DuPage Housing Authority and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County filed suit against village alleging the village discriminated against the elderly and handicapped in violation of the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities when village denied application to allow an assisted living facility as a special use for the St. Paschal's Friary property. Jury found in favor of village which maintained that denial was based on previously passed referendum that the entire property was to remain undeveloped open space. DuPage Housing Authority et al. v. Village of Oak Brook, 03 C 2621 (N.D. Ill. 2008)

Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Driver of a vehicle stopped at intersection controlled by a two-way stop sign filed suit after her vehicle was struck broadside by snow plow lawfully traveling through intersection. Jury found in favor of snow plow driver. Dominguez v. Bartlett Park District, 04 L 156 (18th Cir. 2006)

Slip and Falls

  • Elderly woman walking on sidewalk from store fell down and suffered injuries. She later came back to scene and measured the height differential between two slabs of sidewalk using chopsticks and claimed the purported differential exhibited willful and wanton misconduct on behalf of the Village. Jury found that the Village did not act willful and wanton regarding its maintenance of the sidewalk. Cachro v. Village of Lake Zurich, 05 L 564 (19th Cir. 2007)

Fourteenth Amendment - Equal Protection

  • An 80-year-old woman claimed Village purposely delayed her water service because she had sued the Village in the past. She was without water the following winter, primarily because lawyers disagreed as to whether the Village needed to obtain an easement on her property. The case was originally dismissed and was eventually heard before the United States Supreme Court wherein the case was remanded to the district court for trial, concluding that the woman stated an equal protection claim that should be resolved by a jury. Following a lengthy trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Village, Mayor and Director of Public Works. Olech v.Village of Willowbrook, 97 C 4935 (N.D. Ill. 2002)