The latest edition of Metro Verdicts Monthly provides numbers on false arrest/imprisonment cases.
The median legal false arrest/imprisonment verdict or settlement in Washington D.C. was $25,000.00. Virginia and Maryland have slightly higher median settlement/verdicts of $26,000.00 and $29,000.00, respectively.
I’m surprised the median verdict/settlement is this high because I would think the median case would be one with relatively insignificant injuries except for the inconvenience. There are awful exceptions to that rule to be sure but those awful exceptions would be reflected in the average – as opposed to the median.
While I obviously love these graphs, I wish Metro Verdicts Monthly would provide a little more information. I’m not sure if this number only involves police officer false imprisonment cases or also includes non-police cases where, for example, a department store detains someone they wrongfully accuse of shoplifting. If I were a juror, I would be more inclined to give a larger award against an overzealous Wal-Mart or Target employee than I would a police officer trying to do his/her job in good faith, albeit negligently.