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LaChance v. Town of Charlton

This case law update has brought to you by Freeway Law, personal injury and auto car accident lawyers. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information below is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

Court: US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Docket: 20-1103

Opinion Date: March 3, 2021

Judge: Jeffrey R. Howard

Areas of Law: Personal Injury

The First Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendants – police officers and their employer – on the basis of qualified immunity, in this case, alleging, among other things, excessive force pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, holding that the district court erred in granting Defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiff sued the officers who pushed him onto a sofa-recliner, which toppled over, and who then kneeled on his back. The district court concluded that the push and the kneel constituted two discrete uses of force, granted summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity to Defendants as to the push, and entered a directed verdict for Defendants on the remaining counts, finding that Plaintiff failed to prove that any injury he suffered was caused by the kneeling. The First Circuit vacated the judgment in part, holding (1) the push was not a clearly established violation of Plaintiff’s right to be free of unreasonable seizures; but (2) there was enough evidence from which a reasonable jury could have found that it was more likely than not that the kneel caused Defendant some additional injury.

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