Springfield wrestles with Delano Walker jury award, now up to $1.72 million with attorney’s fees proposed

September 30, 2014

SPRINGFIELD – Members of the City Council are pressing the Law Department for answers about how much financial exposure taxpayers will bear for the recent $1.3 million jury award in connection with the Delano Walker Jr. police misconduct lawsuit.

That award, decided by a nine-member jury in U.S. District Court Sept. 22, followed a three-day trial probing the death of Walker, 15, struck and killed by a car in 2009 during a run-in with police. . . .

They found Sullivan violated Walker’s civil rights through excessive force and assault and battery. The $1.3 million awarded by the jury crept up to $1.6 million with the addition of interest and will continue to accrue at around $2,500 weekly as lawyers for the city mull an appeal.

Also, plaintiff’s lawyers David Hoose, Luke Ryan and Howard Sasson petitioned the federal court for $125,000 in attorney’s fees on Monday – bringing the potential tally to $1.725 million. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by Walker’s mother, Kissa Owens. It is far and away the largest jury award in the city’s history.

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