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Shoplifter Wins $510K for Ankle Injury During NYPD Arrest

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

A shoplifter who broke his ankle while getting arrested was awarded $510,000 by a jury this week for his injury.

Even more noteworthy: This is actually the third time the man, 50-year-old Kevin Jarman, has gotten a payout from New York City in a case against the New York Police Department. Two previous court cases were settled before trial for $15,000 and $20,000, according to The New York Post.

What earned Jarman his biggest payout yet, and how do you go about suing the police in court?

NYPD Officer 'Tripped' Plaintiff

Jarman's most recent case against the NYPD was for a broken ankle he suffered while being arrested for shopping lifting at a Queens market -- a charge to which Jarman later pleaded guilty.

According to his lawsuit, Jarman claimed the 5-foot-5 police sergeant who arrested him was intimidated by the 6-foot-2 Jarman, but roughed him up once Jarman was handcuffed.

Jarman claimed he broke his ankle when the officer "effectively tripped" Jarman by yanking on the handcuffs while standing on Jarman's foot. Jarman spent nine days in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

Lessons From the Injured Shoplifter's Lawsuit

Jarman and his attorneys have obviously become well-versed in the rules for filing claims against the government, set forth in government tort claims acts. To sue a government agency, such as the NYPD or any other police department, you typically need to do three things:

  • File a government tort claim. Before you file a lawsuit, you first must provide notice to the government agency by filing a claim.
  • Wait for the government's response. The government then has a certain number of days to either accept or deny your claim. If the government denies your claim or fails to respond by the deadline, then you can proceed with a lawsuit.
  • Consult an attorney. In this case, Jarman had the help of an attorney; you should too. An experienced civil rights attorney will know how to successfully navigate the government tort claim process, negotiate with the government, and take your case to trial if necessary.

And yet another reason to hire a lawyer: to stand up for your rights upon appeal. After Jarman's $510,000 jury award, an attorney for New York City told the Post, "We're going to fight this verdict."

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