13 August 2015
Federal Appeals Court Affirms §1983 Civil Rights Award to Estate of Man Wrongfully Killed by the LAPD
In a case funded by Law Finance Group, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a $3.2 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles in Estate of Cornejo v. Los Angeles.
After a traffic stop in 2007, the Los Angeles police severely beat Cornejo, and then failed to seek necessary medical attention in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The decedent’s three minor children successfully sued the City of LA for violations of 42 U.S.C. §1983, and state law battery, negligence and wrongful death claims.
The Ninth Circuit held that “no reasonable officer could have mistakenly believed that – contrary to his training – he did not need to obtain medical care for a man who was severely beaten in an unreasonable use of force, had clear injuries, was shaking uncontrollably, had substantial and increasing difficulty breathing, and was groaning and non-responsive.”
The Court rejected the City’s arguments on appeal, and found that the beneficiaries of Cornejo’s estate had standing to assert his §1983 claims, that the damages would not be offset by any negligence allegedly on the part of Cornejo, and that defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity.
Click here for a link to the court’s opinion.