Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bayonne pays $16,000 to settle police false arrest/excessive force suit

On July 30, 2012, the City of Bayonne (Hudson County) agreed to pay $16,000 to a couple who sued a Bayonne Police Detective for allegedly beating the husband and arresting him without probable cause.

In their suit, Stan and Barbara Kabrt said that on December 17, 2008, Barbara was involved in an automobile accident with the wife of Hoboken Police Detective David Macri.  According to the complaint, Macri's wife summoned Macri to the accident scene at which time Detective Macri "became agitated" and arrested Stan "for a disorderly persons offense and resisting arrest."  Macri allegedly "slammed [Stan's] head into the police vehicle."  The couple claims that Stan, who "is partially disabled on the left side of his body" suffered injury and was found not guilty on all charges.

The case is captioned Kabrt v. Bayonne, Federal Case No. 2:11-cv-02849 and the Kabrts' attorney was Karen F. DeSoto of Pluckamin.  Case documents are on-line here.

None of the Kabrts' allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement resolution expressly states that the $16,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Bayonne or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Bayonne or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay the Kabrts $16,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants' decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial--it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.