Maine man gets $125k in police excessive-force trial

Posted Sept. 03, 2010, at 6:34 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal court jury has awarded a former Maine man $125,000 for injuries he suffered during a scuffle with police officers three years ago.

The Portland Press Herald says the jury made the award to Michael Fortin late Thursday after seven hours of deliberations. The trial got under way Tuesday.

But the jury found Wells police Officer Jacob Titcomb and Ogunquit Officer Matthew Buttrick did not use excessive force in the May 26, 2007 incident in Ogunquit. The award did not include punitive damages.

The verdict left both sides claiming victory.

The lawyer for the officers says he will appeal the $125,000 award because state law puts a $10,000 cap on awards against individual law enforcement officers who are held liable on negligence claims.

Fortin lived in Kittery and was dating Jill King of Wells when the confrontation with police happened in the spring of 2007. The officers arrived at King’s home to investigate reports of a possible domestic assault against her by Fortin.

Fortin claimed in his lawsuit that the officers entered the apartment, restrained him by both arms and kicked him in the left knee, rupturing three of the four ligaments and making it impossible for him to return to work as a carpenter.

He sought compensation for more than $100,000 in medical bills, loss of future earnings and punitive damages.

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