Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett Obtain $1.75 Million Settlement for Federal Civil Rights Action stemming from Hwy 212 Shooting

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Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett recently settled a federal civil rights action brought on behalf of the next of kin of Dawn Marie Pfister, who was shot and killed by Defendant Brady Juell of the Chaska Police Department on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie, MN on February 7, 2014.  Pfister was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Matthew Serbus, which was involved in a pursuit and eventually crashed on Highway 212.  After the crash, Serbus held Pfister hostage and menaced her with a knife.  These actions caused numerous officers to fire at Serbus, in attempts to save Pfister.  After Serbus was shot, Serbus and Pfister fell to the ground.  Pfister was able to pry the knife away from Serbus.  Shortly thereafter, Juell shot Pfister four times, killing her, while she was surrounded by 11 armed officers and was partially on the ground, holding a folding knife with a 3 ¼ inch blade.  The City of Chaska had coverage for $1.5 million, leaving $250,000 to come directly from the City.  For more information, click here to review an article from Minnesota Lawyer.

Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett Obtain $1.75 Million Settlement for Federal Civil Rights Action stemming from Hwy 212 Shooting

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Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett recently settled a federal civil rights action brought on behalf of the next of kin of Dawn Marie Pfister, who was shot and killed by Defendant Brady Juell of the Chaska Police Department on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie, MN on February 7, 2014.  Pfister was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Matthew Serbus, which was involved in a pursuit and eventually crashed on Highway 212.  After the crash, Serbus held Pfister hostage and menaced her with a knife.  These actions caused numerous officers to fire at Serbus, in attempts to save Pfister.  After Serbus was shot, Serbus and Pfister fell to the ground.  Pfister was able to pry the knife away from Serbus.  Shortly thereafter, Juell shot Pfister four times, killing her, while she was surrounded by 11 armed officers and was partially on the ground, holding a folding knife with a 3 ¼ inch blade.  The City of Chaska had coverage for $1.5 million, leaving $250,000 to come directly from the City.  For more information, click here to review an article from Minnesota Lawyer.

Recent Police Misconduct Settlement by Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett Marks Largest in St. Paul’s History

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Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett recently settled the federal civil rights action stemming from Frank Baker’s encounter with St. Paul Police officers on June 24, 2016.  Video footage of the incident shows Baker being viciously attacked by St. Paul Police officer Ficcadenti’s police K9 and kicked three times in the ribs by officer Palkowitsch, while he was trying to comply with the officers’ orders.  Baker sustained serious injuries and spent 14 days in the hospital as a result.  He underwent skin grafts and other surgical procedures on his leg that was ripped apart by the K9.  Further, Baker suffered broken ribs and collapsed lungs as a result of the kicks.  On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the St. Paul City Council unanimously approved a $2 million settlement for Baker.  This settlement marks the largest police brutality settlement in the city’s history.

Recent Police Misconduct Settlement by Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett Marks Largest in St. Paul’s History

News

Robert Bennett, Andrew Noel and Katie Bennett recently settled the federal civil rights action stemming from Frank Baker’s encounter with St. Paul Police officers on June 24, 2016.  Video footage of the incident shows Baker being viciously attacked by St. Paul Police officer Ficcadenti’s police K9 and kicked three times in the ribs by officer Palkowitsch, while he was trying to comply with the officers’ orders.  Baker sustained serious injuries and spent 14 days in the hospital as a result.  He underwent skin grafts and other surgical procedures on his leg that was ripped apart by the K9.  Further, Baker suffered broken ribs and collapsed lungs as a result of the kicks.  On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the St. Paul City Council unanimously approved a $2 million settlement for Baker.  This settlement marks the largest police brutality settlement in the city’s history.

 

St. Paul officer involved in Frank Baker incident “calls it quits” and testifies against fellow officer

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Defendant Anthony Spencer, one of the officers involved in the horrific June 2016 K9 and officer attack of Frank Baker, retired from the St. Paul Police Department in October 2016. In a recent article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Spencer discussed testifying on behalf of the City of St. Paul in an arbitration hearing regarding fellow-Defendant Brett Palkowitch’s use of force against Baker. Palkowitch, who kicked Baker three times in the torso while he was being attacked by a K9, is fighting to get his job back and claims his actions were justified.  Spencer disagreed, claiming he testified because: “I owed it to [Mr. Baker].  How do you explain to that guy what happened to him was justified.”  The kicks and the K9 attack were caught on video and can be viewed below:

More information regarding Spencer’s take on the incident and the impact it left on him can be found here:

St. Paul cop who testified in police kicking incident calls it quits

 

Bob Bennett Featured in Minnesota Trial

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Bob Bennett was featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Minnesota Trial, The Journal of the Minnesota Association for Justice.  The article, written by Brendan Flaherty, discusses civil rights litigation and the hot topic of police excessive force.  The full article can be found here and includes a Question and Answer section with Bob.

If you feel you have been a victim of police brutality, excessive force or other police abuse, please contact Bob or any member of the GBBS civil rights team for a consultation.

Steve Gaskins, Andrew Birrell and Timothy Schupp Featured in Super Lawyers Business Edition

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The Super Lawyers Business Edition features the nation’s top attorneys in business practice areas.  To qualify for inclusion in this nationwide directory, the attorneys must have demonstrated excellence in practice areas useful to business, as well as having been selected to a 2016 or 2017 Super Lawyers list.  Three of GBBS’s managing partners were included in the 2016 directory – Steve Gaskins for Business Litigation; Timothy Schupp for Civil Litigation Defense and Andrew Birrell for White Collar Criminal Defense.  The entire directory can be viewed here.

Steve Gaskins, Andrew Birrell and Timothy Schupp Featured in Super Lawyers Business Edition

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The Super Lawyers Business Edition features the nation’s top attorneys in business practice areas.  To qualify for inclusion in this nationwide directory, the attorneys must have demonstrated excellence in practice areas useful to business, as well as having been selected to a 2016 or 2017 Super Lawyers list.  Three of GBBS’s managing partners were included in the 2016 directory – Steve Gaskins for Business Litigation; Timothy Schupp for Civil Litigation Defense and Andrew Birrell for White Collar Criminal Defense.  The entire directory can be viewed here.

Robert Bennett and Paul Dworak Named Minnesota Lawyer’s 2016 Attorneys of the Year

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Members of the Reid Sagehorn Litigation Team, including GBBS partners Robert Bennett and Paul Dworak, along with Joe Friedberg and Ron Rosenbaum, were chosen as 2016 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer.  Sagehorn, a former honor student and two-sport varsity captain who was suspended, expelled, and forced to withdraw from Rogers High School because of a two-word, sarcastic tweet he posted outside of school hours, off school grounds, and without using any school property. The team sued the school district, superintendent, assistant superintendent, and the principal for violating Reid’s First Amendment right to free speech, and they also sued the Rogers Police Chief for defaming Reid by falsely and continuously reporting to the media that Reid, a minor at the time, committed a crime punishable by up to a felony. 

The defendants each filed motions asking the Court to dismiss the lawsuit. In a 45-page opinion, U.S. District Chief Judge Tunheim rejected all of the school defendants’ arguments and held that Reid’s constitutional claims against the school defendants and his defamation claim against the police chief were supported by the law and were to proceed. Defendants subsequently settled the matter for a total of $425,000. 

Click here to view the Attorneys of the Year 2016 digital edition.

Robert Bennett and Paul Dworak Named Minnesota Lawyer’s 2016 Attorneys of the Year

News

Members of the Reid Sagehorn Litigation Team, including GBBS partners Robert Bennett and Paul Dworak, along with Joe Friedberg and Ron Rosenbaum, were chosen as 2016 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer.  Sagehorn, a former honor student and two-sport varsity captain who was suspended, expelled, and forced to withdraw from Rogers High School because of a two-word, sarcastic tweet he posted outside of school hours, off school grounds, and without using any school property. The team sued the school district, superintendent, assistant superintendent, and the principal for violating Reid’s First Amendment right to free speech, and they also sued the Rogers Police Chief for defaming Reid by falsely and continuously reporting to the media that Reid, a minor at the time, committed a crime punishable by up to a felony.

The defendants each filed motions asking the Court to dismiss the lawsuit. In a 45-page opinion, U.S. District Chief Judge Tunheim rejected all of the school defendants’ arguments and held that Reid’s constitutional claims against the school defendants and his defamation claim against the police chief were supported by the law and were to proceed. Defendants subsequently settled the matter for a total of $425,000.

Click here to view the Attorneys of the Year 2016 digital edition.