Elbow injury and emotional distress claimed after struggle with undercover officers. Defense verdict. Orange County.
Undercover police officers said to use excessive force in arrest. Defense verdict.
- Case Name: Edward Rezek v. City of Tustin, et al.
- Court and Case Number: United States District Court, Central District of California / SACV 11-01601 DOC (RNBx)
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, January 13, 2015
- Date Action was Filed: Monday, October 01, 2012
- Type of Action: Civil Rights
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David Carter
Plaintiffs: Edward Rezek
Defendants: City of TustinChief of Police Scott JordanOfficer Brian ChuppOfficer Mark Turner
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: 0
- Net Verdict or Award: 0
Award as to each Defendant:
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 0
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 75 minutes
- Jury Polls: 7-0
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
The Beck Law Firm by Thomas Beck, Los Alamitos.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart by Robert L. Kaufman, Costa Mesa.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Dr. Gagandeep and Dr. Hunt, treating experts in emergency medicine.
Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Greg Meyer, police procedures and use of force.
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
While at The District shopping mall in Tustin, two Tustin undercover officers observed plaintiff vandalize a security guard's car while he was crossing the street and the car came close to hitting him. Plaintiff was observed yelling and gesticulating wildly, then finally continued to walk toward his destination (a bar and grill on the street corner).
The officers approached plaintiff as he continued to walk to the bar which he was intending to enter. The officers identified themselves and said they wished to talk to plaintiff about what had just happened, and took plaintiff by the arm in a soft hold. A struggle ensued, plaintiff was taken to the ground, and was arrested. Plaintiff's elbow was broken during the struggle. Plaintiff was convicted of the vandalism, and found not guilty of resisting arrest.
That the officers had conspired to use excessive force. Plaintiff denied damaging the car. He claimed permanent injury to the elbow which, even after surgery, significantly impacted his life.
Plaintiff claimed two mall security guards, the two defendant officers, a nurse, and a paramedic who gave testimony all committed perjury.
That officers first took his arm in a soft, "come-along" hold. Defendants stated that the plaintiff, while being lawfully detained, resisted arrest and initiated the struggle. Thereafter, the officers used reasonable force to regain control of the situation. There was evidence that plaintiff was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. Finally, defendants alleged the injury to the plaintiff's elbow was merely a minor bone chip which healed on its own within a couple of weeks. The surgery was due to unrelated issues.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Broken elbow, severe emotional distress.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $13,000 (including an $11,000.00 lien)
Plaintiff, in propria persona, has filed an appeal.