February 02, 2016

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) 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 has 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. 

That night, Pollow and his mother were in the parking lot of her apartment complex when Deputy Rosenthal and another deputy arrived. Pollow identified himself as the 911 caller.  According to Deputy Rosenthal, Pollow had a 4-inch screwdriver in his hand which made him feel threatened and fear for his life.  As a result, Rosenthal shot Pollow multiple times despite Pollow being several feet away from the deputy.  During the course of the litigation, sworn testimony by Rosenthal and the eyewitness deputy conflicted as to where Rosenthal was at the time of the shooting as well as to what Pollow was doing.  It was also clear from the testimony that Pollow did not have any weapon in his hands at the time of the shooting.

“This is just another sad example of poor training and bad judgment by the Sheriff and his officers.  For no reason, another life was tragically lost.  No amount of restitution will bring Matthew back following this tragic and senseless police killing,” said Pavlov’s attorney Theodore J. Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.  “But hopefully, this settlement sends a message that no one is above the law, not even the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.”

The last few years have shown that the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has a pattern of bad shootings, Leopold added. “Between January 2005 and April 2014, when Matthew Pollow was killed, officers shot at least 34 people and killed at least 19. In addition, 33 of the 34 shootings were deemed justified based on questionable investigations of the incidents.”

In addition to Leopold, the Plaintiff is represented by Nicholas C. Johnson and Adam J. Langino, both of Cohen Milstein.

For more information visit, /case-study/pavlov-v-pbso.

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Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex cases, Cohen Milstein, with 80 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Denver, Colo.  For more information, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com or call 202-408-4600.