On February 2, 2016, the mother of an unarmed 28 year-old man shot dead by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy near her Boca Raton, Fla., home settled her wrongful death claim against the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  The Sheriff’s Office has agreed to provide restitution to the family in the amount of $562,500 in wrongful death damages.

The settlement came as a result of a civil suit filed by Jean Pavlov whose son Matthew Pollow, was wrongfully killed by Deputy Evan Rosenthal the night of April 2, 2014.  Pollow, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, had called 911 to request help because he was feeling ill and it was after normal business hours for licensed mental health professionals.

Case Background

A wrongful death civil action has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging the Palm Beach County Sheriff Office (PBSO) violated Plaintiff Matthew Pollow’s civil rights resulting in his tragic death. 

On April 2, 2014, Matthew Pollow placed a 911 call to PBSO requesting to be “Baker Acted.”  After placing the call, he remained with his mother in the parking lot of her apartment complex awaiting the arrival of sheriff deputies.  The complaint alleges that when the deputies arrived on the scene, Pollow identified himself by name and as the person who had requested help.  Without placing him under arrest, reading him his Miranda rights or giving any verbal warnings, commands or instructions, a deputy shot him three times in the back as he approached a patrol vehicle.  Pollow was unarmed and died at the scene. The lawsuit alleges that the sheriff deputies excessive use of force violated Pollow’s civil rights protected under the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Ted Leopold, Adam J. Langino and Nicholas C. Johnson of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

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