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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’

A Woman Allegedly Shot in Head by Bartlesville, Oklahoma Police Department Officers Sues Department and Officers

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Bartlesville, OK (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Trina Brown called the police on October 26, 2016, when she saw that her then-boyfriend was headed toward her house. He had allegedly beaten her earlier in the day. When police officers arrived, they witnessed Brown being beaten by her boyfriend. A Taser was deployed on the attacker, but it had no effect. Officers next tackled the boyfriend and ended up getting punched. One of the officers allegedly fired his weapon numerous times in the man’s direction. The boyfriend was killed, and Brown was allegedly shot in the head. She says that the bullet traveled behind an ear, down her neck and back, getting lodged close to her lower spine. Brown is suing the department and the officers at the scene for alleged negligence in shooting her while firing at her boyfriend. She claims that the officer who fired a weapon lacked proper training. She also says the police tried to cover up what had happened to her by saying she had been cut with a knife rather than shot. Brown says that her constitutional rights were violated.

Whenever a police officer fires a weapon, the officers who fired the shots are placed on administrative leave during an investigation. When the investigation regarding a police shooting reveals that an officer followed procedure, he or she is usually reinstated to their former position. If it is determined that an officer acted independently of police training, he or she might be fired and could also be charged with a crime for using excessive force.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man Allegedly Shot by a Chicago Police Officer is Awarded $44.7 Million

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Chicago Police Department (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A record-breaking $44.7 million has been awarded to a man in Chicago who was allegedly shot in the head by an off-duty patrol officer with the Chicago Police Department. The police shooting occurred at the home of Michael LaPorta, who was the victim of the alleged shooting and is now 37 years old. The only people in the home at the time were LaPorta and his friend, the officer who allegedly fired the shot. Allegedly, the officer had been drinking heavily and shot LaPorta in the back of the head. He first allegedly misled investigators, claiming that his friend had been trying to commit suicide. LaPorta survived, but he still has many health problems as a result of the shooting. He is unable to walk; and he requires 24-hour care, which is provided by his parents.

Testimony suggested that the patrolman’s violent behavior had been enabled by the police department. The jury concluded that the police department failed to discipline police officers or maintain a system to provide early warnings. The federal jury found that the city of Chicago is responsible to pay the multi-million-dollar jury award plus LaPorta’s legal fees, which adds up to millions more.

Some jury members spoke about their verdict afterward, indicating that there needs to be major change in the city’s law enforcement practices.

The police officer who allegedly shot LaPorta is still with the police department but cannot carry a gun or make arrests.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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McClain County, Oklahoma, to Pay Estate of Diabetic Allegedly Denied Care, Who Died While Incarcerated

Monday, October 9th, 2017

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In 2013, diabetic Kory Dane Wilson died after he was allegedly denied medical care in the McClain County Jail in Purcell, Oklahoma. In 2017, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed by Wilson’s estate. According to court records, county commissioners agreed to pay $750,000. The settlement was agreed to after a former jail administrator admitted guilt in violating the rights of the inmate. He said that he was advised of Wilson’s medical condition and failed to provide needed medical assistance. The jail administrator was sentenced to 51 months in a federal prison.

Records show that when Wilson was booked into McClain County Jail, he informed the jailers that he had Type 1 diabetes and needed insulin. A federal investigation allegedly found that he never received any medication at the jail, nor did he ever see a doctor. On the fourth day of his incarceration, Wilson was discovered unresponsive in his cell. He died two days later, having never regained consciousness. An autopsy showed that the cause of death was diabetic ketoacidosis.

Jails have a responsibility to prevent custodial deaths, if at all possible, by meeting basic needs. Providing medical assistance, daily meals, and stricter supervision for inmates at risk for suicide are basic duties. When jail standards are neglected, inmates can suffer harm. This exposes a county to litigation, when the result is injury or death.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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The Family of Jonathon Fano Filed a Lawsuit in Connection with his Alleged Suicide in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On February 2, 2017, Jonathan Fano hanged himself in a cell at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in Louisiana. He died three days later. This week, on September 20, his family filed a lawsuit, claiming that Fano was denied needed mental health treatment and was also subjected to unbearable living conditions. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Those being sued for the jail suicide include the city of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and law enforcement and prison officials.

The lawsuit claims that the serious mental health and medical needs of all prisoners were treated with deliberate indifference.

Fano’s family claims that he routinely took medication for mental illness. He was in Parish Prison for 94 days on six alleged misdemeanor charges. The lawsuit claims that 92 of those days were spent in solitary confinement.

The family says that Fano boarded a bus in Miami, Florida, and was on his way to go home to South California. On October 30, 2016, he disembarked in Baton Rouge, allegedly in response to voices he heard. Law enforcement officers discovered him the next day allegedly disturbing the peace, yelling and shouting profanities at imaginary people.

At a press announcement, Fano’s older sister said that if her brother had been taken to a hospital, where he belonged, rather than the jail, he would be alive today. She alleged that he suffered torture and was denied treatment and medication when in solitary confinement.

Allegedly, jail staff reported that Fano was frequently heard crying in his cell. In addition, the suit claims that Fano had cut his wrists in an attempted suicide within hours of being in jail. The family claims that some appointments with mental health care providers were kept but most were not, during his incarceration.

The family expressed their desire to see jail and prison reform, so that others wouldn’t suffer the same fate as their loved one.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Jury Awards a Police Shooting Victim $11.3 Million

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In January of 2014, Hung Lam was allegedly shot by police and as a result became paralyzed and must use a wheelchair. Lam, a man in his mid-30s with mental issues, had been in his own yard holding a knife and threatening to hurt himself when a police officer said that she felt threatened and allegedly shot him in the back. The case has been in trial in San Jose, California, and on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the jury awarded Lam $11.3 million, to be paid by the City of San Jose.

The police officer who allegedly shot Lam testified that, although Lam first held a knife to his own throat, he then started walking toward her, sometimes forward and sometimes backward. She said that because he was still holding the knife, she feared for her life and fired her weapon.

A retired sheriff’s deputy also testified at the trial. The jury said that they believed his testimony. According to the retired deputy, the stabbing motions were only made toward Lam himself. In his opinion, Lam posed no threat to the officer who allegedly shot him.

When the incident occurred, Lam had just returned from two days of confinement in a psychiatric hospital. He was transported to his home, but Lam wouldn’t enter, saying someone was inside. At that point, Lam picked up a knife and caused neighbors to become concerned. One next-door neighbor called police and another attempted to calm Lam down from a distance of 10 to 15 feet. The neighbors claim that the police unnecessarily escalated the situation.

The jury found that unreasonable force was used, and Lam’s rights were violated as a result of the alleged police shooting. Damages were for pain, suffering, and economic loss.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Judge Hears a Motion in Death of Dennis Grigsby, who was Allegedly Shot by Police in Texarkana, Texas

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Texarkana, Texas, Police (Photo Labeled for Reuse)

On December 15, 2014, 35-year-old Dennis Grigsby Jr., who was an African American with a history of schizophrenia, was allegedly fatally shot by a Texarkana, Texas, police officer as he stood in a neighbor’s garage holding a spoon. On August 9, 2017, in Texarkana, a federal judge heard a motion in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Grigsby’s family. The family alleges that excessive force was used against Grigsby. A grand jury in Bowie County did not indict the police officer who allegedly fired the single shot in the chest, which was a fatal wound. The motion being considered this week was a request for a dismissal of the case. During the hearing, an audio recording from the officer’s body microphone was played

The family is questioning such things as why he did not inform Grigsby that he was a police officer and why he didn’t park his vehicle in a way that he could illuminate the garage with the headlights. In answer, the officer did not take these actions because he was avoiding endangering himself.

The officer also points out that the neighbors who called the police said they heard moans and said someone was tapping on their window. The officer said he felt that it may not be a burglary but a different type of situation

The judge announced that recommendations and a report about this alleged fatal police shooting should be forthcoming within a few weeks.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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The Family of Devin Jaros Sues the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office and Others over His Suicide

Friday, August 4th, 2017

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On September 17, 2016, 19-year-old Devin Jaros was discovered hanging in a LaSalle County jail cell in Illinois. Jaros had been incarcerated for less than a day when the suicide occurred. He was transported to a nearby hospital, and he died two days later after being taken off of life support. Physicians had informed the family that his brain would not recover. The Peoria County Coroner, Johnna L. Ingersoll, performed the autopsy. Ingersoll said the cause of death was lack of oxygen to the brain due to hanging. In late July 2017, news was released regarding complaints filed by Jaros’ family. In a civil rights suit, they are suing the sheriff, two deputies, and the county sheriff’s office. In federal court, they have filed a wrongful death complaint. They seek compensation plus legal fees, and the family demands a trial by jury.

Jaros had been arrested on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding. The family alleges that Jaros was deprived intentionally of his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. They also claim that the county and named officers displayed indifference to his medical needs. The family alleges that the correctional officers failed to check on the well-being of detainees that night. They also claim that deputies were guided to engage in illegal activities, due to alleged tolerating, institutionalizing, and authorizing by the sheriff or county.

Many high-profile inmate suicide cases and police shootings of unarmed individuals have resulted in large settlement amounts with various counties across the country. For example, a family was awarded nearly $8 million after an ex-Marine committed suicide by hanging himself in jail. Last year, the family of a jail suicide victim was awarded $11.9 million.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Police Misconduct Attorney – A Federal Judge Rules that a Prison in Rosharon, Texas, must Add Temporary Air-Conditioning for Heat-Sensitive Inmates

Friday, July 21st, 2017

BOT Complex, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Administrative Headquarters. (Source: Wikipedia)

The majority of prisons in Texas do not have air conditioning in inmate living areas, in spite of the sweltering heat in summer months. The Darrington Unit, a maximum-security prison built in 1917, is among them. It is located in Rosharon, about 30 miles southwest of Houston. There’s nothing about this particular prison to necessarily distinguish it from others, as far as the need to give relief to at-risk inmates. Regardless of that lack of distinction, on July 19, 2017, Keith Ellison, federal district judge in Houston, ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide inmates in the Pack Unit with air conditioning within 15 days. Medically sensitive inmates are housed in that part of The Darrington Unit.

The state announced that it is appealing the temporary order, which has a 90-day expiration date.

One of the considerations in the appeals court will be whether this matter should be a class-action suit applying to the entire prison system, as opposed to only those in Rosharon.

The matter is expected to go to trial. Judge Ellison said that he thinks his order will probably stand, which means permanent changes can be expected for Pack Unit inmates.

In the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made a statement saying it is unnecessary to take on the exorbitant cost of air conditioning systems and the electricity required to operate them. In addition, air conditioning is not mandated by the constitution. He expressed confidence that TDCJ is doing everything required to give adequate protection from the heat and to provide safeguards from heat-related illnesses. Fans and unlimited access to ice are among the measures that currently provide relief to prison inmates at The Darrington Unit, which some inmates say is a big improvement over 8 years ago.

In Texas prisons, research indicates that there have been 23 fatalities and hundreds of illnesses related to heat since 1998.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Jefferson County is Sued over a 2016 County Jail Suicide

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

On September 16, 2016, 48-year-old Thomas Lorecki died after hanging himself in Jefferson County Jail in the state of Washington. One of his sons has filed a lawsuit against Jefferson County, claiming that his father had obviously been in a suicidal state and corrections staff failed to provide adequate supervision. The county essentially claimed in response that Lorecki’s death was a result of his own conduct.

The county also claims that a relative of Lorecki and a third cellmate both knew Lorecki was suicidal but failed to share the information with jail officials. In addition, the county says that Kitsap Mental Health Services may be an at-fault entity, but they were not named as a defendant.

A report by Sgt. Andy Pernsteiner said that Lorecki used bedding and his socks threaded through a wall vent 10 feet off the ground to end his life. The lawsuit brings into question why Lorecki wasn’t kept in a suicide-proof cell, since he had allegedly asked at least 10 times to see a mental health professional while an inmate at the jail. Pernsteiner’s report also allegedly said that at one point Lorecki attempted to hang himself with a T-shirt and that he was upset when guards were called because the shirt tore.

It’s expected that the trial will be held in 2018. In the meantime, it is still in the discovery stage.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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In Connection with a 2014 Alleged Police Shooting Involving Alleged “Unreasonable Force,” a Family is Awarded $7 Million in Damages

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

English: Police officers watching the traffic ...

English: Police officers watching the traffic for the 2011 Good Friday procession in Riga, Latvia. Svenska: Poliser vakande över trafiken inför Långfredagsprocessionen 2011 i Riga, Lettland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 13, 2017, a jury handed down their ruling in a civil case related to the alleged fatal police shooting of Ashley DiPiazza that occurred in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2014. The family of the deceased filed the lawsuit against the two police officers who allegedly shot and killed 26-year-old DiPiazza. Both officers were cleared of any criminal charges in the same year as the shooting. This week, a jury awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages against each officer for a total judgment of $7 million.

On May 18, 2014, the day of DiPiazza’s death, police officers went to an apartment on MacArthur Road in response to calls about a domestic disturbance. A 9-1-1- dispatcher was informed by a man that he left the apartment because DiPiazza had locked herself in the bedroom with his handgun, a 9mm.

In a federal courtroom this week, all three officers at the scene of the woman’s death described the chaotic situation when they got to the apartment. Initially, when the woman first went to her bedroom door holding a gun to her head, the supervising officer ordered officers out and instructed them not to re-enter. She then took the role of negotiator.

When shots were ultimately fired, one of the officers said that he wildly jerked the trigger in response to stress hormones, when DiPiazza began walking out of her bedroom holding a handgun against her head. The second officer who allegedly fired shots used an AR-15 assault rifle and pulled the trigger at the same time.

The lawsuit damages are covered under the city’s insurance policy.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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