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Oregon Wrongful Death Civil Rights Case Settled

Jun 01, 2010

Gerry Spence and Kent Spence, The Spence Law Firm, LLC, working with Portland attorney Michelle Burrows, have settled a wrongful death civil rights case against the officers who tasered, shot, and killed an unarmed man outside of Sandy Oregon.

Responding to 911 calls that a young man was naked, severely burned, and obviously in a state of shock after his car caught fire and crashed off a rural highway in Sandy, Oregon, Deputy Willard of the Clackamas County, Oregon Sheriff's Department, and Officer Bergin of the City of Sandy Police Department in Sandy, Oregon, found Fouad Kaady sitting cross-legged, silent, on the side of the highway. The two officers shot Kaady in the back with tasers, as he sat unarmed, calmly in the street with his hands in the air. They tasered him multiple times before shooting him repeatedly in the back, causing Kaady's death.

The officers had allegedly commanded Kaady to lie on the hot pavement, face-down, despite recognizing that he was naked, unarmed, in shock, and severely burned and bleeding. After being repeatedly tasered, Kaady ran from the cops, and climbed on top of the police car. Paramedics were waiting nearby to assist, and Kaady was naked and unarmed, standing on the police cruiser, but the officers shot him seven times (4 from behind, as he turned away from their bullets) as he stood naked on the car. The multiple gunshot wounds killed Kaady on September 8, 2005.

We represented the Kaady family against the Sheriff's department, the Police department, and the two shooters who used excessive and unconstitutional deadly force in tasering, shooting, and killing Fouad Kaady. The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Case No. CV-06-1239. We prosecuted the case against the cops and prepared for a jury trial in Portland, Oregon.

Defendants claimed that Fouad was in a state of "excited delirium." This kind of junk science is commonly raised in police brutality and police shooting cases, including prone restraint suffocation cases. The case survived summary judgment motions. City of Sandy settled just prior to qualified immunity appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Sandy and Officer Bergin settled the case, brought by Fouad Kaady's family, for $1 Million. Clackamas County, Oregon, and Deputy Willard of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office settled for an additional $1 Million. The settlement was reached in April of 2010.

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