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Lund v. Henderson

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

November 25, 2015

JOSEPH LUND, Plaintiff, Appellant,
v.
DANIEL HENDERSON; JOHN WALCEK; THOMAS JOYCE, in his capacity as Chief of Wareham Police Department; and TOWN OF WAREHAM, MA, Defendants, Appellees

Page 7

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 8

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Judge.

Richard K. Latimer, for Appellant.

Jeremy Silverfine, with whom Deidre Brennan Regan and Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, LLP, were on brief, for Appellees.

Before Kayatta, Stahl, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 9

KAYATTA, Circuit Judge.

Joseph Lund claims that a Wareham police officer arrested him without probable cause and with excessive force while trying to disperse an unruly crowd on August 22, 2008. Lund also claims that the police chief and the Town of Wareham (" the Town" ), as the officer's superior and employer, respectively, were liable because they had known of, or recklessly disregarded, prior false arrests and use of excessive force by the arresting officer and other officers in the police department.

Prior to trial, Lund took the position that the jury needed to hear evidence that, if believed, would establish that one of the defendant officers, and others in the Town's police department, had acted improperly on other occasions in making arrests and using excessive force. The district court decided that such evidence of prior alleged bad acts should not be heard by the jury adjudicating the claims against the two officers, but might well be admissible in adjudicating Lund's claim against the chief and the Town. The district court therefore bifurcated the trial, requiring Lund to try first his claims against the individual officers. A properly-instructed jury ultimately rejected those claims, and the district court thereupon dismissed the claims against the Town, rejecting Lund's efforts, post-trial, to add a new, previously-unpleaded claim. For the following reasons, we now affirm.

I. Background

On August 22, 2008, Wareham police officers John Walcek and Daniel Henderson separately responded to a disturbance in Wareham, Massachusetts. Lund was not involved in the original incident giving rise to the disturbance, but attracted Henderson's attention when he began arguing with another individual at the scene. Lund claims that Henderson arrested him without cause, and used excessive force in pushing him into a police vehicle. Henderson and Walcek claimed in their reports and at trial that it was Walcek who actually arrested Lund, with cause and without excessive force, for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.

The day after his arrest, Lund went to the hospital complaining of wrist pain. Doctors detected " two small well-corticated densities," which were consistent with an old injury. According to Lund, a physician named Gilson later diagnosed a shoulder injury that was the result of being " pushed into [a] car" and having his " arms twisted behind him." This statement is taken from Lund's " ...


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