SILVA V. SGT. RAY CORLL
The Lancaster Newspaper’s “investigative reporter,” Gil Smart, loves a lawsuit, and today’s front-page lead article in the Sunday News involves exactly that (click here for “Lawsuit claims chemical spill at Armstrong caused worker’s neurological disorder”).
What the Lancaster Newspapers don’t tell you is that there are a number of federal lawsuits against Lancaster Police Officers, the Lancaster Police Department and the City of Lancaster. I will try to get to all of them in the coming weeks.
Today I’m starting with Ramona Silva (click here). In order to read the documents, you need an account with Pacer, which you can set up and they won’t actually charge you the $.10 per page unless you exceed $15.00 every three months. I don’t have the ability to post these documents as PDF’s, so they are hand typed.
In the Silva suit, the first seven statements clarify the identity of the parties involved and the appropriate venue. Ms. Silva’s attorney is Leonard Hill of Hill & Associates, P.C., 123 S. Broad Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA. The defense is being handled by Christine Munion of Blue Bell representing the Travelers Insurance Company. The remainder of this lawsuit will come this week. A conference between all parties is currently scheduled for November 13, 2013.
Officer Ray Corll was a defendant in a prior suit that cost the city $82,000 (click here for Gil Smart’s 2009 article, “Cost to settle no-photo lawsuit: $82,000”).
Sgt. Ray Corll, Badge No. 403
Lancaster Bureau of Police
City of Lancaster
8. On November 3, 2011, at approximately 3:15 pm., in broad daylight, Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle operated by her son, Leonard Silva, on her way to work as a paper loader at RR Donnelly in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
9. While on route to her employment, near the corner of North Duke and East James Streets, the vehicle in which Plaintiff was riding was stopped by Defendant Corll who was in a marked police vehicle.
10. Plaintiff’s son immediately stopped the vehicle in response to the police siren.
11. Neither Plaintiff nor her son has ever had any prior contact with the police, and there were no warrants for either of them.
12. Defendant Corll approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, drew his weapon, and ordered Plaintiff’s son out of the vehicle. Mr. Silva complied.
13. Defendant Corll proceeded to handcuff Mr. Silva, striking him in the back.
14. After her son was in handcuffs, Plaintiff, who does not speak English, exited the vehicle and repeatedly asked Defendant Corll not to hurt him.
15. Plaintiff did not touch Defendant Corll.
16. Plaintiff is five feet tall and weighs one hundred pounds.
17. Plaintiff posed no threat, immediate or otherwise, to Defendant Corll or any other person.
18. At no time during the events described above, was Plaintiff disorderly, or a threat to the safety of herself or others.
19. Defendant Corll forcibly grabbed Plaintiff, pushed her against the vehicle and violently pulled her arms behind her causing her to tear her right shoulder.
20. Plaintiff repeatedly told Defendant Corll that he was hurting her but he refused to ease up or loosen his grasp.
21. As a means of justifying his unlawful actions, Defendant Corll arrested Plaintiff for disorderly conduct, causing charges to be brought against her.
22. Defendant Corll lacked probable cause to arrest the Plaintiff.
23. The charges against Plaintiff were subsequently dismissed.
24. Upon being released from police custody on November 3, 2011, Plaintiff presented at work despite her arm, shoulder and neck pain.
25. The following day Plaintiff sought emergency medical attention.
26. After months of physical therapy, which proved unsuccessful in returning Plaintiff’s function of her dominant right arm, she had an MRI confirming a tear of her rotator cuff.
27. Plaintiff underwent surgery and additional physical therapy thereafter for the injury Defendant Corll brutally caused to her.
28. Plaintiff was forced to miss significant amount of time from her employment at RR Donnelly where she has been a material handler for years.
29. Plaintiff has endured months of pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost earnings.
30. This incident left Plaintiff with permanent injury to her dominant arm.
31. Defendant Corll used excessive force against Plaintiff.
32. Defendant Corll’s use of excessive force was unreasonable and unlawful.
33. Defendant Corll’s conduct constituted willful misconduct, and was specifically intentional, malicious, reckless and without legal justification, and meant to produce the resulting injuries to Plaintiff’s person.
34. Defendant Corll engaged in aforesaid conduct for the purpose of violating Plaintiff’s constitutional rights by subjecting her to unreasonable seizure, depriving her of property and liberty without due process of the law, subjecting her to excessive force and causing her to be wrongly arrested, charged and seriously injured.
35. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants’ actions and inactions, Plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer fear, horror, loss of liberty, grievous physical injuries, and the loss of the enjoyment of life, all to her great detriment and loss.
36. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Corll’s actions, Plaintiff suffered and was made to undergo great physical pain and horrible mental anguish, medical expenses, as well as loss of earning power and earning potential, and a deprivation of the normal activities, pursuits and pleasures of life, all to her great detriment and loss.
37. At all relevant times, Defendant Corll knew and/or should have known that Plaintiff had sustained serious injuries as a result of his actions.
38. Plaintiff’s serious injuries were a foreseeable and direct result of the willful misconduct, actions and inactions of Defendant Corll.
39. Defendants violated Plaintiff’s clearly established and well settled federal constitutional rights, including but not limited to the right to substantive due process, liberty, personal security, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to be free from the use of excessive, unreasonable and unjustified force.
40. The City and Police Department, through its police officers, officials, and supervisors, has a policy, practice, and custom of using and permitting unreasonable and excessive force violative of the civil rights of those with whom they come into contact by virtue of their failure to properly discipline, investigate, and remedy problems regarding the use of force, which are known.
COUNT 1 – FOURTH AMENDMENT VIOLATION
PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT CORLL
41. The allegations set forth in the preceding paragraphs are incorporated as though fully set forth herein.
42. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Corll’s unreasonable conduct, committed under color of state law, Plaintiff suffered grievous bodily harm, in violation of her rights to be free of unlawful seizure and to be free of unreasonable or excessive force under the laws and Constitution of the United States, in particular the Fourth Amendment thereof and, 42 U.S.C. & 1983.
43. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Corll’s unreasonable conduct, committed under color of state law, Plaintiff was the victim of a constitutionally excessive seizure without due process of the law in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
44. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Corll’s unreasonable conduct, committed under color of state law, Plaintiff was subjected to false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and malicious abuse of process, in violation of her rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
45. Defendant Corll subjected Plaintiff to these deprivations of right unreasonable, with a reckless disregard for whether Plaintiff’s rights would be violated by his actions.
46. As a direct and proximate result of the foregoing, Plaintiff suffered damages as set forth above and deprivation of his rights and liberty interest, all to his great detriment and loss.
47. Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees and cost of prosecution of this suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. & 1988.
48. The conduct of Defendant Corll was outrageous, wanton, willful and reckless.
49. As a result of the outrageous, wanton, willful, and reckless conduct of Defendant Corll, Plaintiff demands punitive damages against him, individually.
Wherefore, Plaintiff Ramona Silva, hereby demands judgement against Defendant Corll for compensatory damages and all other recoverable costs and fees. Plaintiff also demands punitive damages against Defendant Corll, in his individual capacity.
COUNT II – MONELL CLAIM
PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANTS CITY AND P0LICE BUREAU