Chicago Fighting Police-Misconduct Lawsuits–and Winning


The Illinois Supreme Court overturned a $4 million jury award to Christopher Ries for neck and back injuries he suffered after he was hit by a stolen Chicago police car in 2002. Chicago is getting more aggressive in fighting lawsuits against police officers — a strategy that's winning approval from the rank-and-file who believe the city settled too easily in the past, says the Chicago Sun-Times.

Some plaintiffs and their attorneys complain the city is going too far. “For the average citizen this is a very scary situation,” said Ries' attorney, Scott Rudin. “It's a guilty verdict and there's no recourse for this guy. This is something where the city should have stood up and said, 'You know what? We're wrong.' ” Law Department spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle explained the city started asking outside lawyers to take “defensible” lawsuits to trial for $25,000 each. They get a $15,000 bonus for winning. As a result, the number of new lawsuits alleging police misconduct dropped by 47 percent in 2010.

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