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Firm Obtains Jury Trial Victory for La. State Police

Amidst media attention and involvement of national interest groups, firm attorneys André Gaudin and Greg Fahrenholt obtained a zero defense jury verdict on behalf of four Louisiana State Police Troopers in a federal civil rights action. The plaintiff filed suit in federal court in New Orleans alleging that he was falsely stopped, handcuffed, subjected to excessive force and arrested in the French Quarter in October 2015 in violation of his Fourth Amendment constitutional rights. State Troopers arrested the plaintiff after he kicked an officer – twice – but the plaintiff denied making any contact and further alleged that all of the Troopers had manufactured false reasons for his stop and arrest. The plaintiff accused not only the four troopers but the entire Louisiana State Police Department of demonstrating a pattern and practice of unconstitutional acts of racial profiling and harassment, and accused the former State Police superintendent of adopting unconstitutional policies and failing to properly train the officers under his command.

Just prior to trial, the U.S. District Court granted our partial summary judgment dismissing the excessive force claims as well as all claims against the superintendent related to policies, training, and any pattern and practice of violations by the State Police, significantly reducing the racially charged aspects of the claim. The plaintiff proceeded to trial on a total of eighteen claims against four individual State Troopers and sought to recover significant damages as well as recoverable attorney’s fees in excess of $400,000. Mr. Gaudin and Mr. Fahrenholt convinced the jury that reasonable suspicion existed for the initial stop and the subsequent arrest for battery on a police officer. The jury determined that a technical violation occurred on only a single claim but concluded that the violation caused no damages to plaintiff and awarded him nothing.

For further details, please feel free to contact Andre Gaudin at [email protected] or (504) 836-0414.

Bruce D. Burglass, Jr.