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Case of the Month June 2018
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Case of the Month June 2018

Police Officer Fatally Shoots Individual

Hamilton v. City of Milwaukee

Case Type:
Law Enforcement - Death
Law Enforcement - Excessive Force
Law Enforcement - Gunshot
Law Enforcement - Negligent Supervision

Specific Liability:
Wrongful death

General Injury:
Death

Jurisdiction:
State: Wisconsin
Court: United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin..

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's complaint: 2016 WL 1699878
Defendants' motion for summary judgment: 2017 WL 2839101
Stipulation for dismissal: 2017 WL 4074938


Case Name:
J.M., by his Guardian ad Litem, Robert Welcenbach, and Estate of Dontre Hamilton, by Special Administrator, Maria Hamilton, Plaintiffs v. City of Milwaukee and Christopher E. Manney, Defendants

Docket/File Number:
2:16CV00507

Result Amount:
$2,300,000


Result Date:
May 31, 2017

Judge:
J.P. Stadtmueller

Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Jonathan S. Safran, Samster, Konkel & Safran S.C., Milwaukee, WI
Plaintiff: Jerome A. Konkel, Samster, Konkel & Safran S.C., Milwaukee, WI
Plaintiff: Jeffrey D. Patza, Samster, Konkel & Safran S.C., Milwaukee, WI
Plaintiff: Alex Flynn, Alex Flynn & Associates S.C., Milwaukee, WI
Plaintiff: Ian Wallach, Law Offices of Ian Wallach P.C., Los Angeles, CA
Defendant: Grant F. Langley, City Attorney - Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Defendant: Susan E. Lappen, Assistant City Attorney - Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Defendant: Patrick J. McClain, Assistant City Attorney - Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Result Type:
Settlement

Experts:
Plaintiff: Not reported
Defendant: Not reported

Breakdown of Award:
Total Compensatory Award: $2,300,000

Summary of Facts:
This wrongful death action was brought when Dontre Hamilton, an adult male, died as a result of being shot 14 times by defendant City of Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney. The plaintiff estate contended Hamilton was lying in a park when defendant police officer Manney order him to stand up and began to conduct a pat-down search when an altercation occurred. Hamilton obtained possession of Manney's baton when the officer retreated and fired 14 shots into the decedent, which caused 21 gunshot wounds. It also alleged defendant City of Milwaukee had a long history of constitutional violations of police officers, was deficient in the hiring and retention of police officers, failed to adequately train police officers, failed to adequately discipline police officers, condoned constitutional rights violations and violated state law by failing to employ at least two investigators from an outside agency to investigate an officer-involved death. The defendants denied liability and contended deadly force was required to protect Manney from the decedent's assaultive and life-threatening behavior. The City also contended its policies were constitutionally sound and lawful. The plaintiff's minor child received $1.2 million from the settlement, which was used to create a structured settlement for his benefit, and the remaining amount went to the plaintiff's attorney.

Court: United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin.

Westlaw Citation:
2017 WL 8780629


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