KRMF partner Paul Messing reached a substantial settlement on Dec. 22 on behalf of client Philip Sudler, bringing resolution to Mr. Sudler’s civil rights claims against two officers of the West Chester Police Department. As detailed in press coverage of the settlement, Mr. Sudler spent seven months in jail on accusations that he had attempted to commit a robbery in an East Bradford Township shopping center parking lot in November 2011. The defendant officers brought those accusations against him despite ample information in their possession, including a time-stamped grocery store video surveillance tape, confirming that Mr. Sudler could not have committed the robbery. After Mr. Sudler’s criminal defense attorneys shared with prosecutors the information confirming Mr. Sudler’s innocence, all charges were dropped.
In his civil rights suit, Mr. Sudler claimed that the defendant officers caused his arrest and incarceration by providing prosecutors with false and misleading information. The case proceeded to trial in front of a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After the close of the case, while the jury was deliberating, the defendants made a settlement offer, which Mr. Sudler accepted. As noted by Mr. Messing, the settlement provides Mr. Sudler with significant compensation for his prolonged loss of liberty.