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$19.6 Million Verdict in Nassau County New York for Arrestee Run Over By Police

On February 19, 2010, a federal jury awarded $16.6 million to a former construction worker who was run over by a cop in 2005.

Thomas Hartman sued Nassau County detective Karl Snelders after Snelders ran over Hartman, crushing his legs. Hartman lost a leg as a result of the incident.

Hartman had been trying to get away from Snelders when Snelders ran him over, as Snelders was attempting to arrest Hartman for violating a protective order and making threats to police.

In finding Snelders had used excessive force, the jury determined that Snelders acted with “evil motive or intent” or “callous disregard” for Hartman’s rights.

In all, the jury awarded $6 million for pain and suffering, $2.1 million for medical expenses and $8.5 million in lost wages and $3 million in punitive damages. The Second Circuit had previously denied the defendants qualified immunity in this case. See: Hartman v. Nassau County, 350 Fed. Appx. 477 (2nd Cir. 2009).

The County is on the hook for the damage award because of an indemnification agreement. The plaintiff was represented by New York, New York attorney Daniel Hansen. See: Hartman v. County of Nassau, USDC ED NY, Case No. 1:04-cv-01784-CLP.

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Hartman v. Nassau County

Hartman v. County of Nassau