Chicago, Client Results, Complex / Catastrophic, Firm News, Johnson & Bell, Municipal Liability, Notable Cases

Gainer, Burkoth Secure Defense Verdict in Contentious, Officer Involved Shooting Case

June 28, 2018

In a highly charged atmosphere and in a trial followed by local and national media, the Johnson & Bell trial team of Shareholder, Brian P. Gainer, and Associate, Monica Burkoth, secured a defense verdict in favor of the City of Chicago.  The trial involved charges of wrongful death against the City and a Chicago police officer in respect to an officer involved shooting that occurred in December of 2015.  There were also claims that one of the plaintiffs was falsely arrested after the shooting.  The decedent’s estate sought damages between $12-$25 million.  After a three-week trial, the jury was asked to answer a special interrogatory about the officer involved shooting during its deliberations.  In response to the special interrogatory, the jury found that the officer’s use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily injury.  Based upon that finding, the court entered judgment in favor of the defense.  The trial team was assisted by Associates Jessica K. Velez and Jack E. Bentley. 

Johnson & Bell's Municipal Liability practice defends police officers, local villages, townships, cities, school districts and municipal boards in employment, tort and federal constitutional claims.

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