Elderly man fined $100m for being paralyzed after cop tasing him
An elderly black man has been awarded $100 million in a massive settlement after he became paralyzed from the neck down after a fall caused by an Atlanta police officer who shocked him with a stun gun, in what his lawyers called excessive use of force describe.
NBC News reports that Jerry Blasingame, 69, who now requires around-the-clock care that costs $1 million a year, has already racked up $14 million in medical bills since the 2018 incident that left him unable to walk, said Attorney Ven Johnson to the jury.
Blasingame was 65 on July 10, 2018 and was reportedly begging when he broke his neck after Officer Jon Grubbs stabbed him during a foot chase.
Officer charged with using undue force after a stun gun incident left Panhandler paralyzed from the neck down
Officer Grubbs was found to have used undue force, and a federal jury awarded the comparison to Blasingame, who is now paralyzed from the neck down.
A jury today awarded this man, Jerry Blasingame, $100 million for a serious spinal cord injury he sustained @Atlanta_Police The officer kicked him in the back as he ran away, his attorney says.@Georgia_NAACP @LawyerGriggs believes this will set a precedent.@11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/yhrlSe26C5
— Dawn White (@DawnWhiteNews) August 26, 2022
WXIA TV and the Constitution of the Atlanta Journal reported that the jury found that the Atlanta Police Department should pay $60 million while Grubbs should pay $40 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
However, the city has since filed a motion for a directed verdict, in which a judge’s decision could alter the jury’s verdict.
Online records show that Judge Steve Jones has not made a decision on that request as of Monday.
The officer did not fear for his safety and the victim had not committed a felony, the jury found
Before the deliberations, Judge Jones ruled that the jury could reasonably find that Grubbs used excessive force, adding that they could also consider the city’s argument, according to NBC News.
The jury eventually found Officer Grubbs had no fears for his safety and that Blasingame had not committed a felony before being tased, making his vigorous response unwarranted.
“The file would enable the jury to determine that Mr Blasingame had not committed a felony before he was tased / that Officer Grubbs did not fear for his safety / and that the pressing circumstances were not so serious that Officer Grubbs’s use of force was permissible,” Jones wrote on Friday.
Congratulations to Ven Johnson Law attorneys Ven Johnson and Ayanna Hatchett, as well as local co-counsel Darren Tobin, who won a record $100 million judgment today for our client Jerry Blasingame.
There’s more to come… #VenFights pic.twitter.com/7oeybUkI6L
— Ven Johnson Law (@VenFights) August 26, 2022
The lawsuit is the result of Blasingame Conservator Keith Edwards, who is suing the City of Atlanta and the officers in question for costs to cover past and future medical bills.
Blasingame will spend the rest of his life in a dormitory that requires 24-hour care, his lawyers claim.
The victim’s complaint is one in less than 1% of cases that make it to a jury
The case is among a handful of civil lawsuits set to make it to court, with data compiled by US district courts showing less than one percent of federal lawsuits end up in front of a jury.
Civil rights attorney Craig Jones told the Journal-Constitution that “sometimes that’s the only way to solve them.”
“While only a small percentage of lawsuits actually go to a jury, sometimes that’s the only way they can be resolved,” civil rights attorney Craig Jones told the outlet.
Blasingame’s case comes just days after a special prosecutor announced he would not prosecute two other Atlanta police officers involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by police after firing one of their tasers in 2020 taken from a Wendy’s. the newspaper reports.
https://theshaderoom.com/elderly-black-man-awarded-massive-settlement-for-being-paralyzed-in-fall-after-atlanta-cop-used-excessive-force-and-tased-him/ Elderly man fined $100m for being paralyzed after cop tasing him