City and police officer named as defendants in personal injury suit

Jon Campisi Jun. 15, 2011, 1:16pm

A city man arrested for driving under the influence in late December 2010 is suing the city and the officer who arrested him for injuries he sustained after the police encounter.

The personal injury lawsuit was filed June 13 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Val Pleet Wilson, of the firm Wilson, Johnson & Zuber, on behalf of Dennis Linton.

Named as defendants are the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia police Officer O’Donnell. No last name is given for the officer.

According to the civil complaint, Linton was driving his vehicle at or near 62nd Street and Osage Avenue in Philadelphia in early December 2010, when he was pulled over by the defendant officer and subsequently arrested and charged with DUI.

After Linton was handcuffed and placed into the back of the patrol car operated by Officer O’Donnell, he was “violently pushed and thrown in the back seat due to the negligent and careless and reckless operation of a motor vehicle,” the suit states.

The plaintiff was taken to police headquarters, where he was given an alcohol test and eventually released.

In the meantime, the complaint states, Linton sustained various physical and emotional injuries, including a concussion, head injuries, contusions and injuries of the back, neck, legs and spine, as well as other trauma and injuries.

The plaintiff has incurred various medical expenses for treatment of his injuries, and has experienced a loss of earnings and earning capacity, the suit states. Linton also suffered embarrassment and humiliation, a loss of life’s pleasures, a loss of liberty and freedom, emotional distress and incidental costs.

The lawsuit contains charges of assault, battery and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

The complaint, which is not a criminal action, states that the defendant police officer is not immune from civil litigation because his actions constituted a crime, actual malice and/or willful misconduct under Pennsylvania law.

For each of the six counts listed in the lawsuit, the plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants in a sum in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages and related court costs.

The plaintiff has demanded a jury trial. The case awaits listing.

The case number is 110600838.

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