The first such police brutality lawsuit arose in California's Central Valley. In the case of Harb v. City of Bakersfield, a California appellate court overturned a jury verdict for the defense because the judge had given the jury erroneous instructions.
The case of Harb v. City of Bakersfield arose after a doctor had a stroke while driving home from his 12-hour shift in the neonatal intensive care unit. He crashed his car and became progressively more and more ill due to the hemorrhage in his brain. When the police arrived at the crash site they decided the doctor was drunk and did not allow him to get the immediate medical care he desperately needed. The negligence on the part of the police was so severe that they actually sent the first ambulance to arrive at the scene away. By the time the doctor was finally treated in a hospital it was too late to save him from brain damage and a life confined to a wheelchair in an assisted living facility.
Then, astonishingly, when the doctor in Harb. v. Bakersfield filed a police brutality lawsuit against the police, the police tried to blame the victim for not taking his blood pressure medicine. Thankfully, the California appellate court has now clarified that you can't blame the victim in a case like Harb v. City of Bakersfield and now the doctor will hopefully get the justice he deserves.
Another recent police brutality lawsuit arising from police misconduct arose after an inmate was beaten into a coma by two other inmates while he was being escorted under very dangerous conditions in an Arizona prison. In Cortez v. Skol, the Ninth Circuit overruled the district court's grant of summary judgment to the correctional officer who was charged with maintaining the inmates' safety while being escorted.
The Ninth Circuit in Cortez v. Skol found that a jury could find that the correctional officer acted with deliberate indifference to the injured inmate's safety in violation of his constitutional rights because the correctional officer escorted the high risk inmates who did not like each other and had been fighting prior to the escort together without any backup through a "no man's land" area of the prison grounds and without having the inmates in leg chains.
The Ninth Circuit held: "Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, there is sufficient evidence that Skol was subjectively aware of the risk involved in the escort and acted with deliberate indifference to Cortez’s safety. Skol insists that he knew nothing about several of the dangerous aspects of the escort, but there is sufficient evidence for a jury to disbelieve him. Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, there is sufficient evidence that Skol was subjectively aware of the risk involved in the escort and acted with deliberate indifference to Cortez's safety. Skol insists that he knew nothing about several of the dangerous aspects of the escort, but there is sufficient evidence for a jury to disbelieve him."