January 24, 2014 2:54pm PT by Alex Ben Block
LAPD Not Liable For Use Of Excessive Force Against Brian Mulligan
A jury found Friday that the Los Angeles Police Department was not liable for the use of excessive force against former Universal Pictures co-chairman Brian Mulligan.
The charges that the jury said the officers and city were not liable for were use of excessive force, battery and violation of the Bane Act, which is a California law that concerns violation of a person's civil liberties.
The eight-person jury brought in the verdict only about five hours after receiving instructions from federal district court Judge Gary Klausner, who has overseen the four-day trial in downtown Los Angeles.
Mulligan filed his lawsuit against two L.A. police officers -- James Nichols and John Miller -- and the city of Los Angeles in February 2013 after an administrative complaint he had filed with the city over what he considered the use of excessive force by police against him during a bizarre incident in May 2012.
After the verdict was read, Mulligan gave a brief statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "Now is not the time to talk about the trial process. I want to thank all of my friends, family and those in the business community for their support."
Mulligan would not comment on whether or not he plans to appeal the jury's decision.
Mulligan had admitted he used a dangerous drug called "White Lightning," a form of bath salts that affects a person's central nervous system. However, he charged that when he interacted with the police on May 15 and the morning of May 16, 2012, he was severely injured in a manner that is outside of L.A. police regulations and the law.
Mulligan claimed that Nichols hit him in the face with his wooden baton, which caused the fracture in his nose.
The policemen contended during the trial that Mulligan's injuries were the result of his altered state from the use of drugs and his efforts to resist arrest. Nichols denied even carrying his baton the morning of the incident.
Mulligan suffered a broken nasal bone, which splinted into about 14 other breaks, as well as a broken scapula (shoulder bone).
Originally the police tried to bring a criminal complaint against Mulligan on a series of charges that included resisting arrest and attempted car jacking, but the L.A. District Attorney declined to press charges. It was after that Mulligan began his civil cases.
In this trial, Mulligan's lead attorney was Skip Miller. The city of L.A. and officer Miller were represented by Denise Zimmerman. Nichols' attorney was Peter Ferguson.
Primarily a financial executive, Mulligan held high-level positions at Universal Pictures and Fox Television, and he was an investment banker for Deutsche Bank in Los Angeles.