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EXCESSIVE FORCE Jury Awards $249,000 in Alleged Police Beating An employee of KFC who alleged excessive force by police officers was awarded $249,564 against one officer on March 26. Plaintiff Leslie Moore stepped outside of a KFC in District Heights, Md., and was chatting with a friend when an officer pulled up, questioned the two men, and then ran a warrant check. Two more officers arrived and a physical altercation ensued involving Moore’s friend. Officer Jesse Spence then allegedly grabbed Moore and stuck him over the head with a baton and, while he was on the ground, kicked him in the ribs and then arrested him. Moore sued Spence and the other officers along with Prince George’s County, alleging excessive force, battery, and false arrest. The defense claimed Moore was being uncooperative. Case/Court/Date: Leslie W. Moore v. Officer Jesse Spence, Officer Lakina Webster, and Officer Paul Trainor and Prince George’s County, Md.,No. CAL00-20767 (Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Md.), March 26, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorney:Terrell Roberts III, Roberts & Wood, Riverdale, Md. Defense attorney:Michael Lyles, Office of the County Attorney, Upper Marlboro, Md. NEGLIGENCE Officer Bitten by HIV-Positive Inmate Entitled to No Award, Jury Finds A federal law enforcement officer who was bitten by an HIV-positive inmate and then sued the sheriff, claiming that the negligence of one of his deputies was to blame for his injury, was entitled to no award, a Virginia jury found on Feb. 28. The inmate attempted an escape during a medical transport when a deputy sheriff removed the inmate’s restraints to allow him to go to the restroom. While assisting the deputy sheriff in subduing the inmate, plaintiff Dennis Martel put him in a choke hold and was bitten in the process. The defense maintained that Martel negligently put himself at risk by using the choke hold. Case/Court/Date: Dennis W. Martel v. Sheriff Beth Arthur,No. Law 195278 (Fairfax County Circuit Court, Va.), Feb. 28, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Rodney Leffler and Manuel Leiva, Leffler & Hyland, Fairfax, Va. Defense attorney:Jack L. Gould, Fairfax, Va. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS Government Failed to Deliver Promised Tax Breaks A company that bought insolvent thrifts based on a goverment promise it would get tax breaks in return was awarded $28.2 million by a federal judge on Feb. 26. The Centex Corp. of Dallas and its subsidiary, Vienna, Va.’s CTX Corp., alleged that the subsequent passage of a law eliminating these financial inducements retroactively and specifically targeting Centex and a few others who had bought savings and loan associations, constituted breach of contract and a breach of the duty of good faith dealing. Case/Court/Date: Centex Corp. and CTX Corp. v. United States,No. 96-494 C (U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Washington, D.C.), Feb. 26, 2003. Plaintiffs’ attorney: Kent Yalowitz, Arnold & Porter, New York. Defense attorney:Paul Freeborne, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Editor’s Note:These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers in the D.C. area and nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research call 1-800-832-1900.

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