LAWRENCE AND CHA ATTAIN UNANIMOUS DEFENSE VERDICT IN JAIL EXCESSIVE FORCE CASE

On August 27, 2013, David Lawrence and Daniel Cha obtained a defense verdict before a Riverside federal jury in Forbes v. Villa, Case No. SACV11-01330 JGB (ANx). Plaintiff had a twenty year history of neck and back injuries and surgeries, including numerous fusions and implantation of hardware. Plaintiff, who was cuffed and shackled, claimed that a Sheriff’s Deputy slammed him against a wall, threw him to the floor and kneed him in the back at the Fullerton North Court holding cell area in retaliation for attempting to communicate with a friend who was a protective custody inmate. Plaintiff claimed injuries to his face and exacerbation of his neck and back injuries resulting in two surgeries approximately one year thereafter. In addition to general damages, Plaintiff sought almost $800,000 in medical expenses. The deputy maintained that plaintiff refused to respond to his commands to return to a holding cell and that he grabbed Plaintiff by the arm and shirt and began to lead him to the cell when Plaintiff tripped over the chain connecting the shackles and fell. The deputy held onto Plaintiff and kept him from falling completely to the floor, assisted him to his feet, and walked him to his cell without further incident. After deliberating for approximately one hour, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the deputy after a week-long trial.