Manhattan Jury Finds Cop used Excessive Force Causing Facial Fractures - Awards $0--Overturned on Appeal
On October 3, 2019, an appellate court found that a Manhattan jury had unreasonably failed to award any damages to a plaintiff who proved that a New York City police officer had used excessive force while arresting him. The jury found that the cop had smashed the plaintiff's face with a bullet-proof shield fracturing his nasal and orbital bones requiring reconstructive nasal surgery. Though the jury found the cop had violated plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights in using excessive force which caused the fractures--it awarded zero for past or future pain and suffering.
The appellate court found that a reasonable jury could have concluded that the plaintiff's injuries had healed and will present no problems in the future. However, the appellate court concluded that it was unreasonable of the jury not to compensate the plaintiff for his indisputable past pain and suffering. As such the appellate court gave the City a choice: either pay the plaintiff $200,000 for his past pain and suffering or a new trial on damages before a new jury will be held. Shimukonas v City of New York, 2019 WL 4865029