Police Conduct Drawing More Civil Lawsuits

Many personal injury lawyers have typically dodged lawsuits against police officers, worried about discovery costs, ability to pay if individuals are found liable and government immunity from many lawsuits. But that’s apparently changing, according to a report in the National Law Journal.

The report says that “… how much cities are paying out to specifically resolve brutality claims and lawsuits is uncertain, but at last month’s National Bar Association conference James Montgomery of James D. Montgomery and Associates Ltd. in Chicago said police misconduct cases have generated a “cottage industry” for lawyers. He said that cities with the nation’s 10 largest police departments have paid $1.2 billion between 2010 and 2014 to resolve them.

“In this country, that’s $300 million in legal fees,” he said. “So it’s a great avenue to make money. And the police are feeding you new cases every day.” Some of the decisions have been headline-grabbing, and it turns out that video can help both sides.