Eureka Settles Suit With Protester for $50K

Press release from the City of Eureka:

The City of Eureka’s insurance carrier, Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund (REMIF) has settled United States District Court Case entitled “Andrew Hamer, plaintiff, v. City of Eureka, et al.,defendants,”

action number 12-CV-6077-JSW. This action was filed against the City in 2012 after an incident occurring on November 14, 2011 during the Occupy protest at the Humboldt County Courthouse. The County of Humboldt had a separate action brought against them by Mr. Hamer.

Andrew Hamer had alleged that he was injured during an arrest in which Eureka Police Officers detained and handcuffed him. Virtually all of the events during the arrest are captured on multiple videos that support the accounts of the defendant officers. EPD officers made several arrests during the Occupy standoff at the County Courthouse along with officers from the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office.

Officers used great care when dealing with each protestor and during Mr. Hamer’s arrest.

REMIF Counsel, Nancy Delaney of Mitchell, Brisso, Delaney & Vrieze, LLP, defended the City and its officers during the course of this action. The County of Humboldt settled its case with Andrew Hamer separate from the City of Eureka.

REMIF has settled with Andrew Hamer on behalf of the City of Eureka for $50,000. As noted in the settlement, the settlement is an “economic decision” based on the defense costs for a Federal Court trail. Furthermore, the settlement states “It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of a disputed claim, and that payment made is not to be construed as an admission of

liability on the part of any party or parties hereby released, and the said Released Parities deny liability.” The Eureka Police Department and its officers have been dismissed from the action.

The City of Eureka is confident that its police officers acted within the law and policies of the department and the City and its officers would have prevailed if this case had moved forward in court. However, the City does understand the cost to its insurer and ultimately the tax payers of the City of Eureka and supports the decision made by REMIF.

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24 comments

  • It’s wrong that settling for $50k is cheaper than defending the EPD’s lack of any wrong doing.

  • This is ridiculous. This guy is mentally unstable. I went to school with him. You should of seen the shit he pulled. Thanks for costing us the tax payers

  • Without being on the jury it is impossible to know why they came up with this verdict. But most trials seem to be run to suit the attorneys involved with little interest in justice. They play with what evidence they allow, raise allegations without resolving, have judge’s instructions that are impossible to follow. Then stick jurors in a tiny room, letting them argue and create scenarios to fill in unresolved questions until some go against their own ideas just to be done with it all and agree to a verdict just to get out of the torture.

    The only sure winners in this process are lawyers and the court bureaucracy. It’s not a rational procedure. It’s more like theater in which the side that creates the most sympathy for their story wins.

    • I don’t think there was a trial. I believe the insurance company settled in an attempt to save money.

      • Gunther- that is probably true and scary as heck. I have seen that commonly done in private party civil cases but not ones involving government. I made an assumption that due to having occurred 4 years ago, some sort of trial had to have happened in the interim. Foolish me.

        I have seen an attorney file complaints against a huge number of businesses who clearly were barely connected to a case. Each was then told they could settle for an amount that was less what it would cost them to even answer the charge in court. Thus the attorney raked in huge ‘settlements’ from totally innocent people. It’s legally sanction extortion.

    • Do you even read, and can you understand even the simplest of sentences?

      The case was settled out of court, long before any trial. There was no trial, no jury, no verdict.

      You people are unbelievable.

      • Wow. You’re way too late to the party to contribute anything useful from gratuitous spite. BTW what is the stimulation behind a person who is chiming in with insults long the issue is resolved? What satisfaction is derived from name calling and insults while hiding behind a computer? I don’t know anyone personally who is like that and have a mild curiosity about it.

        • What is the stimulation behind someone being a
          stick·ler?

          Stickler
          ˈstik(ə)lər/Submit
          noun
          1.
          a person who insists on a certain quality or type of behavior.
          “a stickler for accuracy”
          synonyms: perfectionist, pedant, nitpicker, purist, diehard, hard-liner, fanatic
          “there’s no pleasing you if you’re going to be such a stickler”
          2.
          a difficult problem; a conundrum.

          • Thank you. It’s a compliment to be called a person who insists on a certain quality ior type of behavior.

            I admit I do. I have a deep personal distaste for someone who calls people nasty names or goes out of their way to belittle or abuse someone rather than discuss.

            • Lmao! Again you still can’t read. Your reading comprehension seriously sucks. Your proud of being anal! Lmao! Besides what are you? The potty mouth police? If commenting while I take a crap, is going out of my way, then wooo I’m exhausted! You started this anyways. If you can’t take, what you dish out, then maybe you should stop patrolling other forms of expression like your the law.

    • You are exactly right.

  • Lawyers and lobbyists are ruining this country, not democrats or republicans.

    • Almost all the people you fools elect ARE lawyers. Didn’t you know that? They are just regular people when they start out, but millionaires by the time they retire. Crooks every one.

      • Damn I need to be a lawyer, no wait,never mind, I’d rather be poor then the lowest form of human, could you imagine trying to defend some scumbag rapist or chomo you know is guilty.

  • I will bet that punk hasn’t made 50,000 in the last four years combined. This stinks and is totally unfair.

    • Thanks for the post Bozo. It seems quite clear from this document that Hamer had a case. He seems to have been tackled, and beaten with batons. Certainly a jury could find that this was excessive force, and that the officers involved had not received proper training. Not having seen the videos or knowing any other facts of the case, I have no opinion about it’s merits. But the insurance company seems to have settled not so much because of the expense of the Federal trial, but because of the risk of losing the trial and getting a far larger judgement against them. The document is from the 9th circuit, which is an appeals court, so the case has already been before a judge in a lower court. The lower court backed Hamer by saying he was entitled to try the case, hence the appeal by law enforcement, The appeals court reversed some of the lower court’s rulings and sustained some. The trial would have been on the issues in the reversed rulings which said in effect that Hamer could sue the EPD itself on the training issue, and one EPD officer and two Deputies on the excessive force issues.

      • Those officers should pay the fine, not the taxpayers.

        • Yes! Make the individual cops pay! That’s probably the fastest way to teach them to be more professional. So, according to the appellate court, Hamer was jaywalking, so Nova had “good cause” for ordering his arrest (!); but there’s video that Liles tackled him to the ground, which the court said could be interpreted as excessive force for arresting a jaywalker, and Mowry and Crosswhite hit him with billy clubs, Mowry “multiple” times, which the court said could also be interpreted as excessive force. I was there that night, though not while this incident happened. At one point I was standing next to an officer whose name I don’t recall. A protester said something ugly and insulting to him, and the officer said something even uglier and more insulting back to him. With the relative immunity of being a white-haired old lady, I said to the cop “Wow, just because HE’S being an asshole, doesn’t mean YOU have to be.” He didn’t insult the white-haired lady back, but he shouldn’t have insulted the rude protester either. It felt not like law enforcement making sure protesters didn’t get out of hand but like two gangs of tough high school boys, one armed and one not. Certainly docking the officers’ paychecks would catch their attention.

          • Good luck with finding any human to do society’s dirty work if that really was implemented. It is hard enough now.

            Wouldn’t it be great if it was a two way street? That every demonstrator or group supporting them could be made to pay a fine for violating the law? The rest of the public could be treated to a dance of excessive politeness between groups instead of conflict.

  • $50,000 was cheaper to pay then paying attorney fees.

  • How is it that the city can’t fund a slam dunk defense but this defendant can bring such a frivolous lawsuit and pay for the case himself? This protesters pockets are that much deeper than the cities even though his case was supposedly destined to fail and had little merit?

    • you need to look at the big picture. the City has a case history of not training its employee’s properly and this is why they always look for transplants to do all the jobs that require an education and experience. to me it looks like they would have settled for more if they continued forward.

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