July 25, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

5 Former Los Angeles Police Recruits Awarded More than $2 Million Each

 

The officers were awarded hefty monetary awards after being denied the chance to obtain jobs due to injuries attained
The officers were awarded hefty monetary sums after being denied the chance to obtain city jobs during injury recovery time.

A judge today upheld a jury’s award of more than $2 million apiece to five former Los Angeles police recruits who were denied the temporary city jobs they sought while recovering from injuries suffered during training at the police academy.

Los Angeles Superior Court Frederick Shaller denied motions by the City Attorney’s Office to either issue a judgment in the city’s favor despite the verdicts or to grant a new trial.

The City Attorney’s Office argued that the verdicts were not supported by the evidence. Shaller disagreed.

“The compendium of exhibits filed by plaintiffs supports every aspect of the verdict,” he wrote in his four-page ruling.

Shaller also found that the amount of the damages awarded May 5 to former recruits Anthony Lee, Ryan Atkins, Douglas Boss, Justin Desmond and Eriberto Orea was not excessive.

“The court cannot find that any of the damages awards are close to unreasonable or that another or different verdict should have been reached,” the judge wrote.

The five sued in November 2010, maintaining that the city was required by law to accommodate them after they were hurt during training by giving them other jobs within the city until they recovered.

Atkins and Desmond were both awarded more than $2.6 million. Boss received $2.5 million, Lee $2.28 million and Orea $2.17 million. The majority portion of most of the money awarded the five was for lost future wages.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Matthew McNicholas said his clients would have been interested in many of the hundreds of alternative city jobs that were available at the time.

Deputy City Attorney Richard Loomis countered during the trial that the city had no obligation to find other work for the former recruits. He said the only job openings were for permanent positions and that it would be a burden on
other city departments to be forced to employ people on a temporary basis.

Loomis argued that the five recruits were “conditional employees” who were unable to perform the essential functions of their job, and the city, therefore, had no obligation to place them elsewhere.

Atkins resigned and the others were fired. McNicholas said Atkins quit only because he feared he would never get a job with the LAPD if he was terminated.

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