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$200,000 Jury Award in Illinois False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution Suit

An Illinois state jury awarded $200,000 in a malicious prosecution suit brought by Rodolfo Rivera.

While he was at a social gathering around midnight on June 24, 2006, other people arrived in the area looking for trouble. Someone called the police, and Rivera decided to leave with his sister.

On arrival, Streamwood Village police officers tried to speak to civilians in the area, and Officer Alexander Vanderlinden may have spoken to Rivera in order to talk to him or get him to stop, but Rivera did not hear him.

Vanderlinden approached Rivera and kicked him. He then allowed his canine to attack Rivera, resulting in severe injuries to Rivera’s leg and groin area. Rivera was taken to a hospital, and then arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery, misdemeanor aggravated assault and resisting a peace officer.

At a July 3, 2006 preliminary hearing, the felony charge was dismissed for lack of probable cause. Rivera was released from jail on July 5, and the other charges were dismissed by the prosecution on March 2, 2007.

In early 2010, the jury awarded Rivera $200,000 for loss of normal life on the malicious prosecution claim, but found for Vanderlinden on a willful and wanton count. Rivera was represented by the Jackowiak Law Office in Chicago. See: Rivera v. Village of Streamwood, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinios, Case No: 07 L 3536.

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Related legal case

Rivera v. Village of Streamwood