MacMain Wins Two Trials for City of Reading
David J. MacMain, assisted by Tricia Ambrose, obtained trial victories for The City of Reading in successive trials held in Federal Court in June and July respectively, both of which involved claims of police misconduct.
The first trial – Lazarde v. Reading – was tried over 4 days in June before Federal Magistrate Judge Henry Perkins (ED of Pa) and involved two separate incidents involving two different Reading police officers. Plaintiff alleged that in the first incident, an officer purposely ran over the plaintiff’s foot after the two had had words – causing Plaintiff significant foot and back injuries which prevented him from future employment. The officer conceded that there had been a heated disagreement, but denied that he ran over plaintiff’s foot. Plaintiff alleged that second incident occurred several weeks later when he was subjected to physical abuse by another officer in the police station while being interviewed about a crime that he had witnessed, with the Plaintiff alleging that the incident was in retaliation for his complaint about the first incident. The officer denied that any physical force was used. After hearing from 13 lay witnesses and 3 expert witnesses, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Reading officers on all 10 counts in a little under 1 ½ hours.
The second trial – Berete v. Reading- took place over 2 days before Federal Judge Curtis Joyner (ED of Pa) and involved an allegation by Plaintiff that a Reading police officer used excessive force during the course of an arrest. After hearing from 4 witnesses, the jury returned a defense verdict in about 1 hour.