Cardoza v NYPD

$4 million verdict

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Case Synopsis:

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest.  Mr. Cardoza was arrested and later acquitted for disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, and resisting arrest.  

During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and hit repeatedly with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger. In addition, Mr. Cardoza also developed posttraumatic stress disorder, with manifestations that included depression. As a result of the injuries, Mr. Cardoza was forced to take another position because he was unable to complete the necessary tasks of his prior job.  

The jury awarded $500,000 for past pain and suffering, $2 million for future pain and suffering, and $1.5 million for punitive damages.   

An appeals court issued a final decision that reinstated a $1.8 million jury verdict against New York City and two of its police officers for excessive force that was previously cut to $350,000 by Trial Judge Howard Sherman.   

A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed Justice Howard Sherman’s determination that no punitive damages should have been awarded against two officers.