We represent individuals, and their surviving family members, who were seriously injured or died as a direct result of police using excessive force or police performing their duty with misconduct or with negligence, in civil litigation.

In both state and federal court, we have successfully litigated and tried high-profile and precedent-setting civil lawsuits involving police misconduct against the city and county police departments.

Our Police Misconduct Litigation Team brings to bear unique experience and perspective to these often complex and often highly politicized cases. Several members, prior to pursuing a career in private, civil litigation practice were Assistant Public Defenders, where they gained extensive trial experience, defending felony criminal cases, and critical case management experience, involving filing internal affairs complaints, preserving critical physical evidence and obtaining surveillance tapes before it is lost or destroyed, and reconciling police cover-ups.

We litigate all manner of police misconduct civil lawsuits, which include allegations of

  • Excessive force and police brutality
  • Violating the Fourth Amendment
  • Racial Profiling

Our Representative Matters – Police Misconduct

We are presently litigating or have recently concluded the following high-profile lawsuits:

  • Lucas v. City of Ocala: On September 20, 2017, Cohen Milstein filed a complaint on behalf of Kimberly Lucas against the City of Ocala (Ocala Police Department) for negligence. Ms. Lucas, an Ocala Regional Medical Center radiology technician, was assaulted by an arrestee, after an Ocala Police Department Officer took off the arrestee’s handcuffs and left him alone with Ms. Lucas in a small secluded x-ray room for over twenty minutes. During that time, the arrestee attempted to escape and grabbed Ms. Lucas as a hostage, inflicting numerous injuries to her body, head, and neck, while threatening to kill her.
  • Adams v. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office:  On May 12, 2017, Cohen Milstein settled a civil police misconduct lawsuit against Sergeant Michael Custer and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) for an unprecedented $2.5 million. The settlement followed a highly-publicized mistrial after jurors were deadlocked (8-1) in favor of the family of Seth Adams, an unarmed man, who was shot and killed on the night of May 16, 2012, by a sheriff’s officer, participating in an undercover surveillance operation. During the course of the investigation by Cohen Milstein, it was discovered that the PBSO lost and destroyed key evidence during their investigation of the shooting.
  • Salvato v. Marion County Sheriff:  After an eight-day, highly publicized trial, a jury returned restitution in the amount of $2.3 million to the family of Joshua Salvato, an unarmed 21-year-old, who was shot and killed by two deputies of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.  The verdict charged the two deputies with excessive force and wilfully and wantonly acting in bad faith by inflicting conscious pain and suffering on Joshua Salvato before he died.  The jury further charged that the Sheriff violated department protocol in his failure to investigate the shooting, thus ratifying the actions of Miley and that Brown “acted with malice and outrageous conduct.” Salvato’s tragic death was captured by the patrol car’s dashboard camera, a key piece of evidence in trial.