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Thread: Texas Jury Awards Man $1.3 Million

  1. #31
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Reading the story, the police had apparently come out because the son had called in a fake call. Now, of course, we see 3 policemen subdue the man and then the one cop leg whips him and they go through the trouble of then arresting him for assaulting THEM, not charging him for any crime they had been called to the scene for. Reading between the lines, I sense there is prior history, personal animus here.

    $1.3mn, if you ask me, actually sounds a bit low. The damages lie in the assault of course but the true damages lie in the perjury/defamation and of course naturally in the 'punitives' (punitive damages think treble damages)

    The award verbiage was a little confusing. Believe it was cited as $1.3 million PLUS $350,000 in punitive damages.

    And it was a civil trial so there are different rules in place. Are those always in front of a jury? Or do they have bench trials in civil court? And am guessing Texas law is going to have it's own nuances.



    @Wonderer help me out here....

  2. #32
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    The award verbiage was a little confusing. Believe it was cited as $1.3 million PLUS $350,000 in punitive damages.

    And it was a civil trial so there are different rules in place. Are those always in front of a jury? Or do they have bench trials in civil court?



    @Wonderer help me out here....

    This case was tried to a jury. Many civil trials are, though there are bench trials, as well.

    I don't see a breakdown of the award in the article (or, for that matter, mention of punitive versus actual damages.) Was there another link I'm forgetting/overlooking?

  3. #33
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    This case was tried to a jury. Many civil trials are, though there are bench trials, as well.

    I don't see a breakdown of the award in the article (or, for that matter, mention of punitive versus actual damages.) Was there another link I'm forgetting/overlooking?
    Yeah, i read quite a few articles going back to the time of the arrest.

    Will try to find the one that mentioned the $350,000 as a separate award.

  4. #34
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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  6. #36
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    Assault, battery, defamation, false arrest, malicious prosecution....

    Frankly, they got away pretty cheap.
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  7. #37
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    {I}t makes little sense for [punitive damages] to go anywhere but the the court/public coffers. The punishment is the same either way.
    That makes little sense, considering this is an offense by the public, i.e., its agents. The money would go from the public to the public, and it is obviously not punitive to the public for the public to keep the money. The point is that the public is being punished* for the acts of its agents, and it is not being punished unless it is deprived of the money. A tort victims' compensation fund, to make up the difference in compensatory damages when an award exceeds available funds (i.e., insufficient insurance, or a defendant is otherwise judgment-proof), is acceptable IMO because the public is not really keeping the money while still being held for a public benefit. But the plaintiff should get some or all of those damages, as part of the punishment against the defendant(s), precisely because the offense in a civil case was against the plaintiff, not the public. (If the offense was against the public, then either the state would be the plaintiff - which was not the case - or the state would pursue criminal charges against the individual defendants, which is an entirely separate proceeding.)

    * The agents' punishments are different, unless they are responsible for some of the punitive damages as well.
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  8. #38
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller47 View Post
    Yep, I'm all for those police having to pay.

    Big settlements from the taxpayers...not so much.
    Any government employee on the job is virtually immune from suit.

    Might be worth looking at reforming this.

  9. #39
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    This case was tried to a jury. Many civil trials are, though there are bench trials, as well.
    In my state, as I understand it (this is not my area), a civil case goes to jury unless the parties stipulate to bench, because both have the right to a jury if desired.
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  10. #40
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Any government employee on the job is virtually immune from suit.
    Police have what is called "qualified immunity," but that can be overcome. And apparently was, in this case.
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