U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Jury Verdict for Victim of Brutality While in Suffolk Jail

Agreed with the Finding of Two Juries That Perrim Anderson Was Abused and That His Civil and Constitutional Rights Were Violated
October 29, 2015

HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK — The Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington has announced that the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, upheld a $95,000 jury verdict for Perrim Anderson in a case involving police brutality, and the violation of Mr. Anderson's civil and constitutional rights. The defendants named in the lawsuit included the County of Suffolk, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, Suffolk County Correctional Facility, and Correction Officers Vincent Aparicio and Maria McAuley.

On March 25, 2012, a jury awarded Mr. Anderson, of Hempstead, New York, a monetary award of $65,000, finding that Deputy Sheriff Aparicio beat Mr. Anderson and violated his constitutional rights. The case followed an incident in May 2008, during which Mr. Anderson was detained in Suffolk District Court in Central Islip. During his detainment, Deputy Aparicio, along with several other officers, took it upon themselves to beat and abuse Mr. Anderson, who suffered a broken nose and several other serious injuries at the hands of his jailers. Photographs taken of Mr. Anderson showed severe injuries on his face and nose. He also underwent treatment for back and knee pain over a two-year period and arthroscopic surgery for his right knee, which was injured when he was thrown down to the ground. The case was heard in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. An initial trial was held before the Honorable Joanna Seybert.

After receiving letter briefs from the parties, the trial court rendered its decision. The court below found that it acted appropriately in requesting clarification from the jury given the ambiguity with the first verdict, and that the jury's second verdict was inconsistent. As a result, following a verdict in Plaintiff's favor, Judge Seybert ordered a retrial and the parties agreed to have same tried before Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown (now District Court Judge Gary R. Brown). The second federal jury to consider this case awarded Mr. Anderson $95,000 in damages for civil right violations after suffering mental and physical abuse at the hands of Suffolk County deputies. Post-trial motions for a new trial and to overturn the verdict were denied.

The defendants appealed the decision, stating that the Court was forced to accept the first jury verdict and that the jury's answers were not consistent with the verdict. They also argued that the amount Mr. Anderson received from the jury was excessive and a retrial would have violated their Seventh Amendment rights.

On October 28, 2015, the U.S. Appellate Court ruled in favor of Mr. Anderson. The Court found that there was "more than sufficient evidence from which a jury could find" that Deputy Aparicio used excessive force and violated Mr. Anderson's rights and the request for a retrial to determine damages was not an abuse of discretion and did not violate the defendants' Seventh Amendment rights.

The plaintiff was represented by Frederick K. Brewington at trial and joined by Scott A. Korenbaum on the appeal.