The New York Times published a story about the civil rights of Luis Solivan being violated by the New York Police Department. The story focuses on a video taken of two New York police officers holding down Solivan and beating him.
Solivan was charged with assaulting a police officer. He decided to sue and currently the case is working its way through the court system. One of the officers in the case was a defendant in another case that recently settled. That case awarded the plaintiff $1,500,000 for punitive and compensatory damages.
As a New York City tradition descends on Brooklyn in the form of the West Indian Day Parade, a lawsuit from the previous year is starting to make some waves in the judicial system.
Kirsten John Foy alleges in his lawsuit that he was roughed up by the New York Police Department. According to news reports, Foy suffered from fractured joints and torn ligaments. The lawsuit does not specify the amount of monetary and punitive damages being sought.
For years, in certain communities, some people have blamed policemen for falsely accusing, planting evidence on innocent people, and other kinds of criminal acts. There are movies like Serpico starring Al Pacino that retold the real life story of Frank Serpico going up against corrupt NYPD officers in the 1970s.
Recently, former NYPD officer and current prison inmate Michael Daragjati pleaded guilty to extortion and civil-rights violation. He arrested Kendrick Gray of Staten Island on a bogus charge and was later caught on tape bragging about the practice to a fellow officer.
This was a violation of Gray’s civil rights and an abuse of his authority. The story unfolded like a scene from the classic movie Training Day starring Denzel Washington. Daragjati had previously been part of two lawsuits where New York City paid $70,000 to settle the cases. Daragjati was sentenced to almost five years in prison for his crime.
A situation like this can be scary and frightening for the individual and their families. People are often easily intimated by those in power. That said, there are still people who are going to assert their rights. When civil rights are violated, they must be upheld in a court of law and punished in a civil court.
Lawsuit advance funding can actually help with that. A lawsuit against a city costs a lot of money. To bring a good case, especially a civil rights case, evidence must be gathered, witnesses found-and that costs money. The city, given that the suit is a civil rights case, might be inclined to take a hard line or offer a settlement to stop the bad press. But if you think you deserve more than what’s being offered, lawsuit advance funding can offer an opportunity to keep fighting. Lawsuit funding can help bring you the justice you deserve.
Recently, a federal court in New York decided that the stop and frisk challenges can be considered under the class action statue, which means thousands of people who feel they have had their rights violated can sue the New York Police Department. This is important because it opens up the NYPD to various legal claims that most likely will be filed.
There are several issues at hand in regards to this decision. Issues like crime, civil rights, the law, community relations, and the police are just a few. For years, people in the communities where the stop and frisk program has operated have claimed their rights were being violated without any kind of recourse. Some lawsuits even claim violence to have occurred while being stopped and frisked by the NYPD.
Now with class action status granted, plaintiffs can make their case in court as a group. So far, the complaints have been a community wide problem, and individual challenges aren’t going to stop it. The stop and frisk program has been under the public microscope for years because of its blatant violation of civil rights and its focus on a segmented community. The judge, who gave this decision, has now given the people a way to fight back against perceived injustices . . . .
Which is exactly what the law is supposed to do: provide justice via access to the courts. It doesn’t mean the case is a win-win for the plaintiffs. But them having class action status means they will have a bigger voice, and it will have a greater impact than an individual lawsuit would.
Lawsuit funding’s potential role in this case . . . .
Lawsuits like this are very expensive to pursue. There are expert witnesses, regular witnesses, files, transportation costs, research, and other essentials that are necessary to do a good job. Lawsuit funding can help the plaintiff attorneys by providing access to adequate working capital to pursue the case.
In a case like this which has the potential to be groundbreaking, the NYPD will fight hard to make sure they come out on top. This will make the case much harder for the plaintiffs to win or settle. The issue has caused the opposing sides to be entrenched in their positions, so both sides are going to be fighting hard, which takes money many law firms may not have. Lawsuit funding allows the plaintiff attorneys, who usually work on a contingency fee basis, to compete on a more equal ground.