Case Results

NOTABLE EMPLOYMENTCIVIL RIGHTS, AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE TRIALS, VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS:

Amanda Wil­son v. Jonathan Paul­ing, et al.

On Octo­ber 23, 2015, we obtained a jury ver­dict of $3,982,136. Our client Amanda Wil­son had been vio­lently sex­u­ally assaulted, stran­gled, and bit­ten by her boss, Jonathan Paul­ing, caus­ing her sig­nif­i­cant emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress as well as the loss of her job. A Den­ver Dis­trict Court jury found for Ms. Wil­son on three claims for relief: assault, bat­tery, and inten­tional inter­fer­ence with con­tract. The jury found that not only had Jonathan Paul­ing engaged in offen­sive con­tact with Ms. Wil­son, but that he put her in fear for her life, award­ing her $1,300,000 for her assault claim in addi­tion to $1,682,136 on her bat­tery claim. More­over, the jury held Mr. Paul­ing respon­si­ble for Ms. Wilson’s inabil­ity to return to work, award­ing her $1,000,000 after she tes­ti­fied that no one could go back to work after their boss rapes them.

Ms. Wil­son stands as a bea­con to the com­mu­nity of sur­vivors of sex­ual assault, many of whom are women whose voices are all too often silenced. After indi­cat­ing that no one would believe Ms. Wilson’s story – the story of a for­mer exotic dancer – the Den­ver DA low­ered the charges against Mr. Paul­ing from felony sex­ual assault to mis­de­meanor unlaw­ful sex­ual con­tact. Mr. Paul­ing spent mere hours in jail because he was a wealthy busi­ness­man who con­vinced the DA that incar­cer­a­tion would neg­a­tively impact his pro­fes­sional inter­ests. Ms. Wil­son, like many other sur­vivors, found no voice through the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. And after turn­ing to the civil sys­tem, Mr. Paul­ing attempted to win his case through vic­tim blam­ing, insist­ing that Ms. Wil­son seduced him, that she forced him to rape her. The jury was not con­vinced. Through Ms. Wilson’s case, the Den­ver com­mu­nity has sent a mes­sage loud and clear to per­pe­tra­tors of sex­ual assault that their actions will not be tol­er­ated, and it has encour­aged sur­vivors that they can and should speak up.

Jamal Hunter v. The City and County of Den­ver, et al.

On July 18, 2011, Jamal Hunter screamed for help as he was beaten and his gen­i­tals were scalded with boil­ing water by fel­low inmates.   Den­ver Sher­iff deputies failed to inter­vene or per­form ade­quate rounds dur­ing Mr. Hunter’s bru­tal assault and scald­ing.  On July 31, 2011, one week after he was released from the hos­pi­tal, Mr. Hunter was assaulted, choked, and tasered by other Den­ver Sheriff’s deputies.  This inci­dent was caught on video.  The law firm of Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC brought civil rights claims for fail­ure to pro­tect, exces­sive force, fail­ure to train and super­vise, and fail­ure to address unlaw­ful sys­temic and cul­tural issues within the Den­ver Deten­tion Cen­ter.  Dur­ing the lit­i­ga­tion, a key wit­ness was threat­ened by two Den­ver Police offi­cers, and doc­u­ments were hid­den, which resulted in Denver’s pri­vate lawyers with­draw­ing from the case and a fed­eral judge unseal­ing numer­ous doc­u­ments.  The judge also requested a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion into the two Den­ver Police offi­cers and a fed­eral inves­ti­ga­tion into the Den­ver Sher­iff Depart­ment and Den­ver Police Depart­ment.  This high pro­file law­suit shed much light upon the cor­rup­tion within the City and County of Den­ver, includ­ing the smug­gling of con­tra­band into the jail by a deputy and wide­spread fail­ure to dis­ci­pline deputies and inves­ti­gate inmate com­plaints of abuse.  This case, which gar­nered national atten­tion, resulted in the requested res­ig­na­tion the Den­ver Sher­iff, and required exter­nal inves­ti­ga­tions into the prac­tices of the Den­ver Sher­iff Depart­ment, Den­ver Police Depart­ment, and Den­ver City Attorney’s Office.  In August 2014, the case set­tled for $3.25 mil­lion, which is con­sid­ered the largest civil rights set­tle­ment in the his­tory of the City and County of Denver.

Susan Chan­dler v. Adams 14 School Dis­trict, et al.

Dr. Susan Chan­dler, for­mer super­in­ten­dent, through her attor­neys Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC and Adams 14 School Dis­trict, through its attor­neys, have nego­ti­ated a res­o­lu­tion of the claims aris­ing from Dr. Chandler’s employ­ment. The Dis­trict adamantly denies Dr. Chandler’s claims of wrong­ful ter­mi­na­tion and main­tains it elected not to renew her con­tract because the Dis­trict needed a change in lead­er­ship. Its con­tri­bu­tion of $380,000 to the total set­tle­ment is for the sole pur­pose of avoid­ing the expense and time asso­ci­ated with lit­i­ga­tion.  It was pub­licly reported that the total set­tle­ment for Dr. Chan­dler was $700,000.00.

Jane Doe v. XYZ Cor­po­ra­tion, et al., (Con­fi­den­tial Settlement):

In 2011, Ms. Doe was assaulted in a domes­tic vio­lence inci­dent out­side of work by a co-worker. Crim­i­nal charges were filed and a restrain­ing order was put into place pro­hibit­ing the co-worker from being within 100 yards of Ms. Doe. XYZ Cor­po­ra­tion then began a cam­paign of harass­ing and intim­i­dat­ing Ms. Doe, required her to have the restrain­ing order mod­i­fied to allow her attacker to come back to work, and was even­tu­ally fired. The law firm of Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC brought claims of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and retal­i­a­tion under Title VII, Wrong­ful Dis­charge in Vio­la­tion of Pub­lic Pol­icy, Inten­tional Inter­fer­ence with Con­tract, and Inten­tional Inflic­tion of Emo­tional Dis­tress. The case set­tled for $850,000.00.

Ortega et al. v. The City and County of Den­ver et al.

This law­suit was well known through Col­orado and the nation as the Den­ver Diner case.  On July 12, 2009, a Den­ver Police Depart­ment offi­cer worked off-duty secu­rity at the Den­ver Diner restau­rant when he encoun­tered our client being attacked by another patron.  The law­suit alleged that he dragged our client out­side while her friend fol­lowed and protested the officer’s con­duct.  At the same time, another two of our clients arrived in a bicy­cle cab in front of the Diner. As the two women approached the entrance, a sec­ond Den­ver Police Offi­cer, who arrived as backup, bar­reled through them. When our client protested being shoved, the law­suit alleged that both offi­cers responded with an onslaught of exces­sive and unnec­es­sary force, includ­ing hap­haz­ard pep­per spray­ing, shov­ing our clients to the ground, pick­ing one up by her neck and punch­ing another in the face while hand­cuffed.  The inci­dent was captured by a High Activ­ity Loca­tion Obser­va­tion (HALO) cam­era.  Ini­tially hid­den by Den­ver, the sur­veil­lance tape was released nearly two years after the event.

The case gar­nered wide­spread pub­lic and media atten­tion, not only for the egre­gious inci­dent, but also for expos­ing the Den­ver Police Department’s fail­ure to address its sys­tem­atic prob­lem of unbri­dled police bru­tal­ity. The law­suit alleged that the offi­cers fal­si­fied accounts of the assault of the four women in their reports, omit­ting numer­ous details of the force they exer­cised.  The two offi­cers were even­tu­ally fired only after their con­duct was brought to light through the lawsuit.

This law­suit required the inter­views hun­dreds of wit­nesses and review of over one hun­dred thou­sand pages of dis­cov­ery.  Uncov­er­ing sub­stan­tial evi­dence  prov­ing that Den­ver trains its offi­cers to engage in exces­sive force, Den­ver offi­cers cul­tur­ally fail to report exces­sive force by other offi­cers, and that Denver’s Inter­nal Affairs Bureau rou­tinely white­washes police mis­con­duct and fails to inves­ti­gate com­mu­nity complaints.

The Hon­or­able William Mar­tinez of the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the Dis­trict of Col­orado allowed munic­i­pal lia­bil­ity claims to pro­ceed to trial “based on Denver’s cus­tom of fail­ing to ade­quately and timely inves­ti­gate cit­i­zen com­plaints for exces­sive force and to timely and prop­erly dis­ci­pline the offi­cers impli­cated therein.”

The case set­tled for $360,000 prior to trial.  Because of the lawsuit’s expo­sure of fail­ure to prop­erly train and dis­ci­pline its offi­cers, Den­ver has insti­tuted broad changes includ­ing the over­haul of the entire Den­ver Police Depart­ment dis­ci­pli­nary hear­ing sys­tem allow­ing for faster, expe­di­ent and robust dis­ci­pline.  The work in this case resulted in this law firm being co-awarded the 2013 Col­orado Trial Lawyer Asso­ci­a­tion Case of Year.

Jane Doe, et al. v. County of XYZ, et al., (Con­fi­den­tial Settlement):

In 2012, Ms. Doe was incar­cer­ated by the County of XYZ. While incar­cer­ated she was sub­ject to unwanted and harm­ful med­ical treat­ment. She was fur­ther forcibly strip and cav­ity searched by three law enforce­ment offi­cers, includ­ing one male. The law firm of Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC raised claims of vio­la­tion of the First, Fourth, and Four­teenth Amend­ments of the United States Con­sti­tu­tion pur­suant to 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 and vio­la­tions of Col­orado Revised Statute § 16–3-405(2), regard­ing strip searches. The case set­tled for $250,000.00.

Jane Doe, et al. v. XYZ Cor­po­ra­tion, (Con­fi­den­tial Settlement):

In 2010, Ms. Doe was evicted, on Christ­mas Eve, from her res­i­dence based on her dis­abil­ity and for hav­ing a ser­vice ani­mal. The law firm of Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC filed charges under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act (Fair Hous­ing Act), 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(h). The case set­tled for $200,000.00.

Jane Doe, et al. v. XYZ Cor­po­ra­tion, (Con­fi­den­tial Settlement):

In 2011, three long time female work­ers expe­ri­enced gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion at the hands of a male super­vi­sor. One of the three women was ter­mi­nated. The law firm of Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC brought claims of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and retal­i­a­tion under Title VII and Inten­tional Inter­fer­ence with Con­tract. The case set­tled for $275,000.00.

Peo­ple v. Franklin Sain, 13CR00988

In 2013, in oppo­si­tion to pro­posed leg­is­la­tion regard­ing gun con­trol, Mr. Sain sent sev­eral offen­sive and pro­fane com­mu­ni­ca­tions to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), one of the spon­sors of the leg­is­la­tion.  The Den­ver Dis­trict Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Sain with attempt­ing to influ­ence a pub­lic ser­vant, a felony, as well as harass­ment involv­ing eth­nic intim­i­da­tion, a mis­de­meanor.  Due to the high-profile nature of the gun con­trol debate, the case drew sig­nif­i­cant media atten­tion both in Col­orado and nation­ally.  The law firm of Rathod ǀ Mohamedb­hai LLC defended Mr. Sain on the grounds that his speech, although offen­sive, was pro­tected under the First Amend­ment.  After lit­i­gat­ing the case for sev­eral months, the Dis­trict Attorney’s Office dis­missed all charges against Mr. Sain.

Peo­ple v. John Copeland, 13CR00035

Mr. Copeland, an 85-year old dis­abled Korean war vet­eran, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon when he struck a plain-clothes vol­un­teer offi­cer with his cane.  Mr. Copeland admit­ted that he struck the vol­un­teer with his case, but did so out of self-defense.  The law firm of Rathod ǀ Mohamedb­hai LLC rep­re­sented Mr. Copeland pro bono.  The team at Rathod ǀ Mohamedb­hai LLC con­ducted an exten­sive inves­ti­ga­tion result­ing in numer­ous wit­nesses com­ing for­ward and sup­port­ing Mr. Copeland’s the­ory of the case.  Shortly before trial, in the face of unsur­mount­able evi­dence and the dete­ri­o­rat­ing health of an elderly defen­dant, the Dis­trict Attorney’s Office dis­missed the charges against Mr. Copeland.

*Dis­claimer: Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC does not guar­an­tee spe­cific results based on pre­vi­ous case results. Indi­vid­ual results vary on a case by case basis.