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City Wins 3 Court Cases Against Police

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CHICAGO (STMW) - The city won three cases in federal court on Thursday, all involving allegations against the police department.

The legal victories are evidence that the city’s strategy to aggressively fight “meritless” lawsuits — rather than settle them — is working, said an attorney whose firm won two of the verdicts for the city Thursday.

In 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Supt. Jody Weis ordered that the city fight more cases against police that were considered frivolous.

“We believe taking a more aggressive approach in these cases will lead to a decrease in the number of lawsuits being filed,” Law Department spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle said at the time.

The city dispensed a slew of cases to outside firms to argue on the city’s behalf for flat-rates.

Avi Kamionski, of Andrew M. Hale & Associates, said his firm got about 60 of them since 2009.

“We’ve had 15 of them voluntarily dismissed,” and that was on top of trial wins, Kamionski said.

On Thursday, juries sided with the police in two cases his firm handled. One involved an alleged illegal strip search, the other was an excessive force claim.

The third case the city won on Thursday involved a suspect’s claim of being denied medical treatment.

Since the strategy went into effect, the number of new lawsuits filed alleging police misconduct dropped by 47 percent last year, according to city officials.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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