Main | Monday, March 21, 2011

TEXAS: Fort Worth Recommends $400K Payoff To Man Injured In Gay Bar Raid

After the Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission staged a widely criticized raid of the Rainbow Lounge in June 2009, authorities from both organizations admitted wrongdoings that resulted in the firings of three TABC officers and a rewriting of the rules regarding nightclub raids. Now the Fort Worth city attorneys are recommending a $400,000 settlement with Chad Gibson, the Rainbow Lounge patron who suffered a brain injury after being thrown to the ground by police.
"In light of the circumstances, city staff believes proceeding with this settlement is the right thing to do, not only to bring closure to those involved but also to prevent lengthy and even more costly litigation," Jason Lamers, a city spokesman, said Friday. Lamers said the city has also agreed to pay $40,000 to another patron, George Armstrong, who said he suffered a torn rotator cuff during his arrest for public intoxication at the bar. Because the settlement is for under $50,000, council authorization is not needed, he said. Don Tittle, the civil attorney for Gibson and Armstrong, said all parties have worked together for months to reach a resolution without a lawsuit. "Everybody worked toward a resolution that was fair," Tittle said. "I thought that the city, at least in this regard, they recognized that there was significant legal exposure. I think there was also just an element where they felt like it was, on some level, just the right thing to do." Tittle said Gibson is still seeking treatment for injuries. "He had some significant injuries and is still getting treated and will be for quite some time," Tittle said.
An internal police investigation had concluded that no excessive force was used during the raid. But they're going to pay anyway, apparently.

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