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DEFENDANT’S Excessive use of Force – Battery – Plaintiff allegedly attacked by Riviera Beach police officer – Rotator cuff tear – Arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff claimed that a female officer, employed by the defendant City of Riviera Beach, committed a civil battery upon her following a traffic stop. The defendant denied the allegations.

The plaintiff was a female in her early 40’s at the time in question. Evidence showed that the defendant’s officer stopped the plaintiff for a traffic citation. The plaintiff testified that the officer pulled her out of the vehicle and slammed her against the side of the vehicle.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, which she claimed was caused by the incident. She underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery to address the tear.

The defendant’s officer testified that, after the stop, the plaintiff exited her vehicle. The officer supported that she requested they move to the other side of the vehicle, because it was not safe in the median where they were standing. The officer claimed she touched the plaintiff on the shoulder to guide her towards the back of the vehicle. The plaintiff then said, “Get the fuck off me,” and flung herself backwards into the side of the car, according to the officer’s testimony.

The defendant also called an orthopedic surgeon who testified that the plaintiff’s diagnostic films showed that her shoulder condition was long-standing and pre-dated the date of the incident.The jury found that the defendant’s officer did not commit a battery upon the plaintiff, which was a legal cause of injury. The defendant has filed motions for costs and attorney fees based on a proposal for settlement.

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