Appellate Court Upholds Jury Verdict Finding Police Officer Caused Wrist Injury with Excessive Force and Negligence in Arrest but Reduces $1,100,000 Pain and Suffering Verdict to $450,000

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On June 7, 2003, two New York City Police Department officers responded to a criminal trespass call at 439 East 135th Street in the Bronx where 48 year old Juanita Young was asleep in a second floor apartment.

The police had been called by the landlord who had obtained an eviction order due to Ms. Young’s non-payment of rent and the city marshals had already changed the locks. Ms. Young had re-entered the apartment and now the cops were there to arrest her and take her out.

That they did but, on the way down the stairs, with her hands cuffed behind her back, the legally blind Ms. Young fell down the stairs and hurt her wrist.

In her ensuing civil lawsuit against the city claiming excessive force and negligence in the arrest, Young won a $1,100,000 pain and suffering jury verdict for her wrist injury ($600,000 past – 4 ½ years, $500,000 future – 10 years). In addition, she was awarded $250,000 for civil rights violations because after the arrest she wasn’t given a desk appearance ticket and was in jail for more than a day before she was released on her own recognizance (she was ultimately acquitted of the criminal charges in a separate trial).

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