Brookfield cops call for retrial after ‘excessive’ jury price

A month after a federal jury found them responsible for falsely arresting and using excessive force against a 67-year-old Brookfield man in 2016, two Brookfield police officers requested a new trial, arguing the verdict was inconsistent with the facts of the case. , that the plaintiff filed his case too late, that the punitive damages awarded were excessive or totally unjustified and that the compensatory damages were not supported by the evidence.

Andrew Lowery, who retired from the force in 2017 following an injury sustained during the August 2016 arrest of Brookfield resident Rogelio Valdez, and Rafael Alvarado, now Brookfield Police Lieutenant , have filed a motion for a new trial in the United States District Court. in Chicago on Jan.6. Valdez has until January 28 to file a response to the motion.

In December, a jury sided with Valdez and awarded him $ 160,000 in total. Of this amount, $ 75,000 was compensatory damages. In addition, the jury awarded $ 75,000 in punitive damages against Lowry and $ 10,000 in punitive damages against Alvarado.

Brookfield Police Chief Michael Kuruvilla said after the verdict that the village’s risk management agency, which is responsible for paying for the damages, would seek to overturn or vary the decision.

“Since the start of this trial, the village has fully supported our officers and believes they have behaved appropriately,” Kuruvilla told The Landmark last month. “While we respect the jury and the process, we are disappointed with the verdict and believe it was simply not supported on the basis of the evidence presented.”

In their request for a new trial, the officers argue that it makes no sense that the jury concluded that Alvarado had probable cause to arrest Valdez when Lowry did not and that the $ 75,000 of Punitive damages against Lowry were outrageous given that Lowry suffered a debilitating and debilitating career. – ending his injury as Valdez apparently didn’t realize he had broken his toe during the incident for two weeks.

“The award of punitive damages against Constable Lowry, in this case, literally adds insult to injury which, unlike the plaintiff’s alleged injury, was immediately known and treated after being transported by ambulance from the building. of the plaintiff, “declares the motion for a new trial.

With respect to the $ 10,000 in punitive damages awarded as a result of Alvarado’s actions, the motion for a new trial says no damages should have been awarded, as Alvarado was attempting to quickly remove Valdez from ‘an “increasingly volatile and unpredictable domestic conflict involving several intoxicated family members” and that his actions “did not demonstrate bad intention or cruel indifference to [Valdez’s] rights.”

Officers also argue that the $ 75,000 in compensatory damages was “monstrously excessive,” far exceeding the $ 26,489 Valdez was billed for the care of his broken toe by the VA hospital or any loss of liberty he was charged. Valdez claimed to have suffered.

The petition also argues that the court erred in allowing Valdez to file the original complaint because the statute of limitations had expired and because Valdez did not diligently pursue the filing of the civil action.

About Jessica J. Bass

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