CIVIL RIGHTS – PERSONAL VENDETTA IN POLICE DEPARTMENT LED TO FALSE CHARGES
Publication: Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter
Terence White v City of Markham 08L-4212 Tried Feb. 8-15, 2011
Verdict: $2,253,273: $500,000 past embarrassment, humiliation and injury to reputation; $200,000 future embarrassment, humiliation and injury to reputation; $500,000 past anxiety and emotional distress; $100,000 future anxiety and emotional distress; $150,000 past lost earnings; $285,659 future loss of earnings; $510,614 future lost pension; $7,000 attorney fees.
Judge: Dennis J. Burke (IL Cook-Law)
Pltf Atty(s): Dean Caras and Tara C. Meadows of Dean Caras & Associates. DEMAND: $100,000 ASKED: $1,700,000
Deft Attys: Moyenda Mutharika Knapp and Juanita B. Rodriguez of Johnson & Bell OFFER: $50,000
Pltf M-40, a fourteen-year veteran of the Markham Police Department, contended he was maliciously prosecuted by another Markham police officer, Sgt. James Knapp, for an alleged theft of time from a bank where pltf worked part-time as a security guard. Knapp accused pltf of punching in his time card at the bank and then leaving the bank without performing security services. However, the bank never complained about pltf doing anything wrong. Pltf was suspended from the department without pay and was arrested and charged with theft. He was acquitted of all criminal charges in Oct. 2007, but the City of Markham has not allowed him to return to work. Pltf claimed Knapp hated him and brought the charges to get him removed from the police force. Other officers admitted Knapp hated the pltf and was “out to get him.”A State Police inspector testified no probable cause existed for arresting and charging the pltf. Pltf sued for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, damage to his reputation, loss of employment and wages, and attorney fees incurred defending himself in the criminal proceedings; he is now working as a mechanic.