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Hodges settles revenge attack lawsuit against Sheriff’s Department for $625,000.00

August 2, 2014

Our firm is pleased to announce the resolution of the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of our client Robert Bryant.  We are relieved for our client to bring the civil matter to a close.

Our client, Robert Bryant, was involved in what some might call a scuffle with an off-duty Madison County Sheriff Deputy named Justin Watson.  Watson grabbed our client after mistakenly believing that Robert was making “catcalls” at his girlfriend.  Watson got punched out and embarrassed.  Instead of learning a tough lesson, Watson announced to all that would hear him that he was a sheriff’s deputy and that he would get Robert for this.

Unwilling to take on our client alone, Watson plotted for a few weeks while gathering a posse of deputies.  This group of deputies gathered at a rendezvous point before swarming Robert on a dark rural road.

One deputy pulled Robert over for an “improper lane change.”  Our client cooperated with the deputy, got out of the truck upon instruction, and was punched in the face and beaten severely by several deputies on the side of the road.  They knocked his teeth out, beat him with a billy club, handcuffed him, and used a tazer on his back AFTER he was choked to the point of losing consciousness.  The articles below include pictures of the beating.  Even worse, these “peace officers” had the audacity to charge him with assault and the made up improper lane change.

Our firm was able to get the meritless criminal charges dropped and filed suit in federal court along with co-counsel Hank Sherrod.  Hank is a bright lawyer that we wanted on the team for this case.  The Defendants in the lawsuit requested that the case go into mediation.  The case settled shortly after mediation for $625,000.00  Even after the case settled, the Sheriff’s department still will not accept responsibility for the actions of these deputies that clearly used their badges to attack a private citizen.

We are truly happy for our client and believe that we achieved justice for him.  We hope that he can use the money from the settlement to move away and find somewhere that he feels safe far away from these deputies and a Sheriff with his head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.  We hope that this lawsuit will force the Sheriff to address the problems in his department.

It is difficult for us to imagine not be able to trust those that are sworn to “protect and serve.”  Furthermore, looking over your shoulder every time you hear an odd sound is no way to live.  We also hope that the criminal justice system will fulfill its purpose with regards to these wrongdoers.  We hope that the media spotlight will help this issue.  The following are some of the articles about this lawsuit.

https://www.waaytv.com/appnews/attorney-speaking-out-after-madison-county-sheriff-s-office-settlement/article_f6abf0ee-1929-11e4-93a2-001a4bcf6878.html

https://whnt.com/2014/07/31/madison-county-sheriffs-office-settles-lawsuit-with-man-badly-beaten-after-arrest/

https://blog.al.com/wire/2014/03/sheriff_blake_dorning_and_eigh.html#incart_2box

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