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Prisoner at Manhattan Detention Complex Wins Excessive Force Award from New York

Plaintiff Wilfred Rosado brought a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 lawsuit against the City of New York for excessive force used against her at the Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC) in 2010.  After several failed settlement attempts, the City finally agreed to pay her $2,000 for her injuries in March 2012.

A dispute then arose over the amount of attorney’s fees to be paid to Rosado’s counsel.  Pursuant to Section 1983, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees.  The principle case in this area is Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express, Inc., 488 F. 2d 714, 7176-19 (5th Cir. 1974), which sets forth twelve factors, including time and labor required, novelty, skill of the attorney, and other points.

The New York court ruling on the motion for attorney’s fees, instead relied upon the “lodestar” method, whereby the court determines a reasonable hour rate and a reasonable number of hours required and hopefully arrives as a “presumptively reasonable fee,” according to the decision.

After reviewing the evidence, the court award $25,328.06 in attorneys’ fees and $300 in costs, slightly less than sought by the attorney. See: Rosado v. City of New York, 2012 WL 955510 (S.D.N.Y.).

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Related legal case

Rosado v. City of New York