A federal judge issued a $2.3 million final judgment on Oct. 15 in favor of Manuel Alvarez, who filed a §1983 municipal liability complaint alleging that the city of Brownsville allowed its jailers to beat him in 2005 when he was 17, and then falsely charged him with assaulting them. Alvarez alleged that the jail concealed from him and his defense lawyers a videotape of the beating.
Luis Avila of Dallas and Eddie Lucio of Brownsville represented Alvarez, who served four years in a state jail for the assault charges before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals exonerated him in 2010 on the basis of his actual innocence, Lucio said. But Alvarez had a criminal record when the beating took place, Lucio added. That background presented an obstacle but a surmountable one at the jury trial held to decide the damages for municipal liability claim.
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