Case# 4003: Spinal Cord Injury Resulting From Trauma Inflicted By Law Enforcement

Verdict

$39,000,000

Summary

On November 3, the Plaintiff, a healthy and productive 32-year-old black male, was detained by the Defendant, a duly authorized actual and/or apparent agent and/or employee of the State of Maryland, the Baltimore Police Department and the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, regarding a potential traffic violation. This incident occurred in the 4800 block of Reisterstown Road, Baltimore City, State of Maryland. After, the Defendant McDonald pulled over the Plaintiff and began to issue him a citation for speeding, Officer McDonald allegedly made observations which suggested to him that the Plaintiff may have been operating his motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. At that time, it is asserted that the Defendant called additional police officers to the scene.

After the other officers arrived, the Plaintiff avers that he was hand-cuffed, put in leg irons, beaten and then thrown head-first into the back of a paddy wagon/police van, striking his head on the unpadded wall and floor. As a result of this violent attack on the Plaintiff, without any legal justification or provocation, the plaintiff sustained serious and permanent injuries including, but not limited to, a fracture of his cervical spine, a spinal cord injury, quadriparesis, and other debilitating injuries. It is asserted that these Defendants knew that the Plaintiff had been hand-cuffed and shackled such that he could not protect himself from any trauma as a result of having been thrown and was otherwise rendered helpless to protect himself against any impact he may sustain.

After having inflicted permanent, serious and life threatening injuries to the Plaintiff, these Defendants made no attempt whatsoever to administer first aid or medical care. Specifically, these Defendants failed to immobilize the Plaintiff’s neck, failed to obtain emergency medical assistance and actually left the Plaintiff to roll around in the back of the paddy wagon/police van unsecured after having sustained significant and permanent trauma. As a result, there was inappropriate delay in obtaining necessary medical care and treatment such that when the Plaintiff was finally taken to Sinai Hospital, his spinal cord injury was such that he could no longer be treated to avoid the injuries and damages alleged herein.

The Plaintiff contends that he has in the past, is presently and will in the future continue to suffer significant physical pain and embarrassment, as well as emotional anguish, fear and anxiety over his condition. The Plaintiff has been unable to engage in activities which he enjoyed prior to the incident complained of. He has lost his former state of physical and mental well-being, has been unable to return to his employment, and has been permanently disabled. The Plaintiff’s entire way of life has been altered as a direct and proximate result of the inappropriate conduct of these Defendants. The Plaintiff has in the past, is presently and will in the future, continue to incur significant hospital, physiotherapeutic, pharmacological, surgical and other expenses and losses for which claim is made.