The Jersey City Council okayed a $292,000 settlement for a man hit by a police sergeant’s SUV during a police chase on August 6th, 2017 at last week’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … The Corporation Counsel has recommended a settlement to pay the Plaintiff the total sum of $292,000 because the risks and costs involved with conducting a trial includes the possibly of a verdict that includes compensatory damages and counsel fees exceeding the settlement amount,” the resolution, approved unanimously (8-0) as part of the consent agenda, says.
” … The Plaintiff agreed to accept a total payment of $292,000 to settle and dismiss all of his claims against the City in the above referenced matter and signed the required settlement documents including a release and stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.”
The Jersey City Times first reported on the lawsuit on Friday.
Shiron Cooper filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court in May 2018, about nine months after then-Police Sgt. John Ransom hit him with his police vehicle, an SUV, twice during an investigation into potential drug dealing at Audubon Park.
The incident was caught on surveillance video and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office charged him with assault by auto, which eventually led to him being barred from public employment.
A settlement was reached between the city and Cooper, who was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to drug possession charges, on August 29th, according to a letter from his attorney, Thomas Mirigliano, to U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hammer.
In partially granting summary judgement on the case in April 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Kevin McNulty said that after a jury reviewed the evidence, they could find that Ransom the city did not do their due diligence in investigating excessive force.
“I find that Cooper has provided sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude—although it would not have to—that the City was deliberately indifferent in investigating claims of excessive force. That a large number of complaints were filed and only one sustained merely sets the scene,” he wrote in his 19-page opinion.
“Ransom in particular faced multiple prior excessive force complaints, one of them for very similar conduct, i.e., striking a fleeing pedestrian with his vehicle. Such evidence is sufficient to raise a triable issue as to whether the City knew about and acquiesced in a custom tolerating the use of excessive force, and its use by Ransom in particular.”