Monday, June 1, 2015

Wildwood pays $29,000 to settle police excessive force suit

On May 27, 2015, the City of Wildwood (Cape May County) agreed to pay $29,000 to a Vineland man who sued members of the Wildwood Police Department for applying excessive force.

In his suit, Kenneth Carey said that on August 28, 2010 Wildwood Officer Andrew Grenaro "exercised unlawful and excessive force" upon him at 248 E. Schellenger Avenue.  Carey, whose lawsuit contains no specifics of his interaction with police, also claimed that Grenaro "unlawfully seized" him and discriminated against him "because of his race."

Also named in the suit was Wildwood Police Chief Steven Long who was dismissed from the lawsuit previously.

The case is captioned Carey v. Wildwood, Federal Case No. 1:12-cv-01298 and Carey's attorney was Mark Pfeffer of Atlantic City.  Case documents are on-line here.

None of Carey's allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement resolution expressly states that the $29,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Wildwood or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Wildwood or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Carey $29,000 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.