Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross Prevails in Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case

Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross Prevails in Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case

After a grueling legal battle in multiple courtrooms that spanned years, our legal team at Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross, LLC put up a huge fight to overturn a Commonwealth Court decision in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of our client. In a 6-1 ruling, the highest state court said that the state trooper—accused of using excessive force during a traffic stop—was not protected by sovereign immunity, defined as being protected or immune from lawsuit because he was performing as a state trooper.

On November 27, 2013, our client was pulled over by Trooper Joseph Lombardo and subsequently issued a ticket for driving with a suspended license and failing to use a turn signal. While our client was waiting for a friend to pick her up, she was wrestled to the ground by the trooper, who claimed she was being uncooperative and only attempted to pull her into the police vehicle.

Our client suffered a sprained wrist, arm, and back. She later filed a $160,000 lawsuit against the trooper.

When the case went before the Commonwealth Court, the three-judge panel ruled that the trooper had sovereign immunity because he acted within the scope of his employment. The lower court also said that such immunity made the details of the incident—like the injury our client sustained—irrelevant.

However, the state Supreme Court wrote the trooper acted outside the bounds of his duties, claiming his conduct arouse in such a manner that reasonable minds would believe he was motivated by personal reasons, instead of professional ones. Additionally, the evidence cited at trial presented our client in a more favorable light. Our client was ultimately awarded $160,000.

“[Our client is] extremely excited and certainly she feels justice has begun to lean in the proper direction,” said Attorney Thomas O. Fitzpatrick, according to The Legal Intelligencer. “It’s an outcome that we expected and hoped for and we thought that it was the appropriate outcome. We’ll see what happens on remand.”

Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers

Law enforcement officials are required to follow certain procedures and rules when investigating a potential crime to provide fairness and transparency in the investigation, collect evidence in a lawful manner, and—most importantly—protect the alleged suspect’s rights. When these rules are broken by police officers while investigating your case, Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross, LLC is committed to protecting your rights and freedom inside and outside the courtroom.

Contact us at (215) 550-1999 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.