Judge says jury's decisions in Jordan Miles case will stand

A federal judge today ruled that Homewood man Jordan Miles is not entitled to a new trial or enhanced damages in his civil case against three police officers, and also denied the officers’ bid for a reduced verdict.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone in a seven-page order dealt with the post-trial motions of the 22-year-old man and officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak. A jury in March satisfied neither side when it ruled that the officers falsely arrested Mr. Miles but did not use excessive force, and awarded him $119,016.75.

Mr. Miles wanted the judge to declare a verdict in his favor on the excessive force count, arguing that if the arrest was improper, so were the tackles and punches. If the judge was unwilling to take that step, he should order a new trial on the excessive force count, Mr. Miles' attorneys wrote in motions.

"The jury obviously found that during such arrest, plaintiff was not subjected to excessive force," Judge Cercone wrote,

In this instance, adding that Mr. Miles' arguments fall "woefully shy of convincing this Court that the great weight of the evidence cuts against the verdict."

The officers sought offsets against the verdict for the portion of Mr. Miles' medical bills that his family did not have to pay, and for $75,000 that the city paid to the plaintiff's original attorneys in return for a partial settlement of the case.

Judge Cercone declined to speculate on the extent to which the medical bills were considered by the jury when it decided on the award. He said the city's settlement entitled the defense to an offset against the plaintiff's bid to compel the city to pay his legal bills, a matter on which the court has not yet ruled.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord. First Published June 18, 2014 12:00 AM

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