Summary Judgment for Town and Its Police Officers.
We obtained summary judgment in favor of a town and several of its police officers in an excessive force and malicious prosecution case in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff and his family were in Bloomsburg the night before his daughter’s graduation when he got into a fist fight with a bar owner. The owner suffered significant injuries and the plaintiff fled the scene. He was spotted a short time later by one of the defendant officers, pursued and arrested. The plaintiff was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, simple assault and aggravated assault. Following the criminal trial, the plaintiff was found not guilty. He then sued our clients—the town and several officers—for excessive force and malicious prosecution. The plaintiff’s wife also sued, alleging loss of consortium and emotional distress. The wife’s claims were dismissed via a motion to dismiss. Following the close of discovery, motions for summary judgment were filed on behalf of our clients. The court granted our motions, finding the existence of probable cause as a defense to claims for malicious prosecution and wrongful arrest. The court also found that the arresting officer acted reasonably during the pursuit and detention of the plaintiff.