Today a Northern District of Illinois jury returned a verdict of $50,000.75 in favor of the plaintiff in the case Ratliff v. Carroll, 10 C 739. The plaintiff, Pares Ratliff, was about to put air in his tires when the police approached him and said they had a warrant for his arrest. Ratliff responded that that wasn’t true. After a back and forth exchange, Ratliff said that he’d go with the officers if they gave him the $.75 he’d just spent to put air in his tires. Predictably, the officers didn’t like this comment. They arrested him for assault (claiming he threatened them) and left his car unattended on the street, where it was stolen. The gas station video contradicted the officers’ version of events.
The jury awarded the plaintiff the wonderfully precise sum of $50,000.75 — comprising $30,000 in compensatory damages, $15,000.75 in punitives against one officer and $5,000 in punitives against another — but not before sending an awesome note to the judge, asking if they could make the officers perform 100 hours of community service!
Congratulations to the plaintiffs’ lawyers Jared Kosoglad, Michael Oppenheimer and Bruce Mosbacher on their great work!