UC to Pay $1 Million to Students in Federal Class Action Lawsuit Over Pepper Spray Incident - Bisnar | Chase Law Firm Weighs In

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Newport Beach personal injury lawyer weighs in on settlement agreement in a federal class-action lawsuit that will award $1 million to 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an otherwise peaceful protest. A Los Angeles Times report on Sept. 26 states that university system announced the settlement, which will also require UC to pay the plaintiffs' attorneys and any other parties who may join the class-action lawsuit.

This is a case where a class of victims were able to succeed in holding a wrongdoer accountable.

The University of California will pay 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an Occupy rally in November 2011, according to a Sept. 26 report in the Los Angeles Times. The article states that the settlement agreement, announced last week, requires UC to pay $30,000 to each of the individuals who were pepper-sprayed during a peaceful protest on campus. In addition, the university system will also pay $250,000 to plaintiffs' attorneys and set aside $100,000 to pay up to $20,000 to any others who join the class-action lawsuit (Case number: 2:12-cv-00450 JAM EFB) and prove that they were either arrested or directly pepper-sprayed.

As part of the settlement agreement, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, will write a formal apology to each of the students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed or arrested, the Times reports. Students who were affected by this incident tell the Times that this incident created a divide between students and campus police, a broken relationship that still needs to be fixed. A UC task force in April determined that the campus police had violated policy and that administrators had handled the November 2011 protest improperly.

A press release issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states that the students suffered physical pain and emotional anguish over the violation of their constitutional rights to gather in a peaceful protest. John Bisnar, founder of Bisnar | Chase, says he is pleased that the students' rights were upheld.

"This is a case where a class of victims were able to succeed in holding a wrongdoer accountable," he said. "The university will not only pay all the affected victims and plaintiffs' attorneys, but also issue a personal apology to each of the victims and hopefully, work on establishing policies and protocols for campus police. There is a healing process that must take place here."

"This is also a good example of how class action lawsuits help conserve resources both for plaintiffs and the courts," Bisnar says. "Instead of all plaintiffs hiring individual lawyers and waiting for months or years for their day in court, each plaintiff is represented at the same time and all share in the outcome of the case."

About Bisnar | Chase

The Bisnar | Chase law firm's Orange County personal injury lawyers represent individuals who have been seriously injured as a result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. The law firm has won a wide variety of challenging personal injury and product liability cases, involving car accidents, on-the-job accidents, dog attacks and defective products.

For more information, call 800-561-4831 or visit http://www.orange-county-lawyers.com for a free consultation.

Sources: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/uc-davis-pepper-spray.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/uc-davis-students-reach-1-million-settlement-university-over-pepper-spraying-incident

https://www.aclunc.org/docs/freedom_of_press_and_speech/uc_davis_settlement_agreement.pdf

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