Judge Refuses To Set Aside Ruling In Abbate Civil Trial
By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 20, 2012 10:30PM
A federal judge ruled Thursday against the City Law Department’s request to set aside a jury’s verdict in the Anthony Abbate Civil trial that a “code of silence” was in place within the Chicago Police Department to protect officers like Abbate from punishment for their actions. The City Law Department asked Judge Amy St. Eve to set aside the judgment in exchange for a speedy payment of the $850,000 in damages awarded to Karolina Obrycka, who was famously pummeled by a drunken Abbate in a Northwest side bar in 2007. The security video of that beating made international headlines.
The City Law Department argued the verdict in the Abbate trial sets a new precedent and could open the floodgates to be used by plaintiffs in other civil lawsuits against the city. The Law Department said Obrycka would receive her settlement regardless of St. Eve’s ruling.
So they have to pay the money and the ruling still stands? Merry Christmas, City Law Department.
In her ruling, St. Eve showed little sympathy for the city, noting they had numerous opportunities to settle with Obrycka but decided to move forward with a trial “knowing that an adverse judgment was at risk.” St. Eve wrote setting aside the jury’s ruling after it was reached “has ramifications for society at large, not just the city’s litigation strategies.”
St. Eve also said the city’s decision to pay Obrycka her damages regardless of her ruling was a factor. She wrote the public’s interest in putting the “code of silence” on record was more important to the individual needs of Obrycka or the city.