Runaway Jury? LAPD Loses $14 Mil Handcuff Verdict


A surgeon won $33 million in damages from a jury that decided Los Angeles Police Department officers handcuffed him so tightly that he suffered permanent nerve damage, harming his ability to perform surgery, the Los Angeles Times reports. “I hope that the police take this verdict as an opportunity to revisit safety measures when handling the citizens of Los Angeles,” said Dr. Angelo E. Gousse of Miami.

The jury ordered the police department to pay $14.2 million. Budget Rent-a-Car, which put license plates on the car Gousse rented that erroneously had been reported stolen, was ordered to pay $18.8 million.

Gousse was awarded $31 million for past and future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, physical pain and mental suffering. His wife, Marie May Gousse, was awarded $2 million for loss of consortium.b”That was far more than I asked for,” said Gousse’s attorney, Browne Greene.

Los Angeles police had pulled Gousse over as he drove the car bearing the suspect plates in February 2001. Gousse complained that the handcuffs were hurting his wrists, but he said officers did nothing to help him as he sat in the back of the police car.

Greene contended that the officers failed to lock the cuffs, which he said would have minimized damage to Gousse’s wrists. Greene argued that police did not follow proper procedure that would have resolved the records mix-up within minutes, rather than more than an hour.


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