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False Arrest

False arrest and assault, damages for mental anguish and humiliation
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County.

    Our client was an undocumented alien landscape laborer shopping with his wife and two children at a large grocery store on Mockingbird Lane. Two plain clothes security guards suspected that he was shoplifting a bottle of Tylenol. The security guards confronted the client as he was walking out the front door of the store. The client was unable to speak English and thought he was being robbed. The guards chased him through the parking lot, hit him with their fists and handcuffed him. He was marched through the store to the manager’s office and held for about an hour. The only physical injuries were bruises and contusions, with no time lost from work, but he experienced extreme mental anguish and humiliation, as did his wife and children.

 

False arrest at grocery store
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County, settled after two days of trial

    A Spanish speaking woman and her daughter were accused at the checkout counter of having secreted merchandise on their person. They were escorted to the manager’s office and strip searched by female employees. Nothing was found. The store offered no settlement, relying on a statute that protected the defendant from liability if good cause existed for suspicion of shoplifting. After two days of trial the defendant accepted the Plaintiff’s pre-trial offer and settled.

 

Jury verdict in false imprisonment action against nursing home.
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County. Judgment for actual and exemplary damages affirmed conditioned on partial remittitur of damages

    We represented an elderly man who had formerly owned a successful printing business before developing alcoholism. The client’s nephew took him to a Dallas area nursing home and told the manager to “keep him.” After a few days the client sobered up and demanded to leave. He was kept for five weeks against his will and without legal authority. Each time he time he tried to flee through the unlocked doors of the facility bells would ring and nurses would chase, overpower him and bring him back. He finally escaped and called the Dallas Bar Association, who referred him to our office. On the morning of trial our client failed to appear. The trial court granted a one week continuance. We found the client in his motel room in an alcoholic stupor. During the next week a friend of the client was able to restore him to sobriety, buy him a business suit, bathe, shave, barber and dress him. The client appeared for trial sober and mentally alert. With remarkable dignity and credibility the client described the degrading details of his illegal detention. The jury awarded actual damages and punitive damages. The Waco Court of Civil Appeals affirmed both parts of the judgment but ruled that the amounts were excessive under the evidence, reducing each award by half. The published appellate opinion has been cited twenty-five times in other appellate decisions, law review articles and legal texts. (Big Town Nursing Home v. Newman, 461 S.W.2d 195)