Monthly Archives: December 2011

Jury Awards Victim of Police Brutality $220,000.00

(Plaintiff verdict) $220,000.00

Lawrence Lynch v. David Bickel, et al. (No. 080101152)

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, PA


Jill J. Holden; James Jarrett & Schwartz, P.C.; Philadelphia, PA, for Lawrence Lynch

Jonathan J. James; James Jarrett & Schwartz, P.C.; Philadelphia, PA, for Lawrence Lynch

Michael C. Schwartz; James Jarrett & Schwartz, P.C.; Philadelphia, PA, for Lawrence Lynch


On Jan. 17, 2006, plaintiff Lawrence Lynch, 31, was traveling southbound on North 6th Street, in Philadelphia, in an admittedly stolen sedan while Philadelphia Police Officers were pursuing in a high-speed chase. Lynch’s car struck another vehicle near 6th Street and Indiana Street and then exited the car and ran westbound toward Marshall Street. When Lynch got to the intersection of Marshall Street and Indiana Street, he was shot eight times by Philadelphia Police Officer David Bickel.

Lynch sued Bickel for assault and battery. Lynch also sued Philadelphia Police Officers, Detectives and Sergeants: Shawn Leahy; Stark; John Hoyt; Robert Brady; Colon; Harvey Bass; Norma Serrano; Sean Stewart; Jonathan Josey; Sonya Young; Officer Malen; James Lane; Detective Grace; L.T. Van and Stephen Gross, but those defendants were dismissed before trial.

Plaintiff’s counsel asserted that Lynch was a passenger in the stolen vehicle and that police opened fire on him when he was unarmed, had exited the vehicle and was turning to run away from the pursuing officers. Counsel contended that while two officers fired a total of 14 shots, only Officer Bickel’s bullets connected, leaving Lynch with eight bullet wounds on his left side.

Counsel for Bickel contended that Lynch was, in fact, driving the stolen vehicle and that, when Lynch got out of the car, he pointed a firearm at Officer Bickel, giving Bickel no recourse but to employ the use of his own firearm. Bickel and his partner testified that after Lynch was shot, the plaintiff fell on his gun, and the officers then immediately turned him over and kicked the gun away. Photographs from the crime scene were introduced, depicting the weapon.

Plaintiff’s counsel maintained that the photograph of the handgun, which was supposedly beneath Lynch’s body when police took him into custody, was corroborative of Lynch’s testimony that he had put his hands into the air upon being confronted by police, and that he did not have a firearm in his possession at that time. Counsel argued that the photograph showed that the gun was found in a pool of Lynch’s blood but did not have any blood on it, indicating that it had been placed in the pool of blood after the fact.

All 14 bullet cartridges in evidence at the crime scene were found to have been shot from Philadelphia Police firearms.


Lynch went to the emergency room in an ambulance. He remained in the hospital for about four to six weeks, receiving treatment for bullet wounds to his left ankle, left arm, left thigh, lower back, stomach and buttocks. The gunshot wounds also resulted in Lynch suffering a fractured fibula and a fractured left radius. Plaintiff’s counsel also contended that Lynch suffered permanent nerve damage and atrophy in his left leg from the injuries. Counsel noted that Lynch continued to require the use of a wheelchair and still wore a brace at the time of trial. Counsel sought unspecified past and future pain and suffering damages and punitive damages.

The defendants did not dispute the extent of Lynch’s physical injuries.

Verdict Information:

The jury found Bickel was liable for assault and battery and awarded Lynch $220,000.

Lawrence Lynch:

$20,000 Personal Injury: Punitive Exemplary Damages

$200,000 Personal Injury: past and future pain and suffering

Link to Original Article: