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$1-million-plus LAPD payouts

May 08, 2011

Return to story: Flood of lawsuits by LAPD officers costs the city millions

Some recent sizable jury verdicts and settlement payouts won by LAPD officers:

Howard Chan and David Benioff

Last month, Chan and Benioff were awarded a total of $2 million by a jury that determined their supervisors had retaliated against the officers for complaining about alleged traffic ticket quotas. The motorcycle officers assigned to West Traffic Division sued the department, alleging that they had been punished with bogus performance reviews, threats of reassignment and other forms of harassment after objecting to demands from commanding officers that they write a certain number of tickets each day.

Richard Romney

Romney won nearly $4 million last year from a jury that found he was fired in retaliation for testifying against the department in a labor dispute. Romney was called to testify about the LAPD's overtime policy in a class-action lawsuit, saying there was an "unwritten policy" that effectively barred officers from requesting pay for less than an hour of overtime work. The city is appealing.

Robert Hill

Hill said he was followed and harassed by other officers, and then moved to an inferior assignment at a less desirable division for reporting that a superior used racial epithets and might have been involved in embezzlement of department funds. The city ultimately settled the case for $3.8 million in 2010.

Patricia Fuller, Donald Bender and Blaine Blackstone

In 2009, the city paid Fuller, the second female canine handler in LAPD history, $2.25 million to settle a lawsuit in which she alleged that she was sexually harassed and ostracized by her male colleagues and supervisors, and then retaliated against when she complained about problems in the insular unit. Bender won a $3.6-million verdict from a jury that found he had been retaliated against for coming to Fuller's defense. He ultimately took $2.5 million in 2009 in exchange for a promise from the city not to appeal. Blackstone, a sergeant who Fuller had accused of wrongdoing, also won in court. A jury awarded him nearly $750,000 last year after finding that Blackstone had faced retaliation from superiors who tried to force him to change his performance evaluation of Fuller. The city is appealing the Blackstone decision.

Ya-May Christle

A jury in 2007 awarded more than $1 million to Christle, a detective in the LAPD's Internal Affairs Division, who said she had been demoted three levels after she accused her former boss of promoting other female employees in exchange for sexual favors.

Return to story: Flood of lawsuits by LAPD officers costs the city millions

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