A former Deutsche Bank AG executive can take two Los Angeles policemen to trial over claims they beat him in May 2012 while he was in a neighborhood to visit a medical marijuana dispensary, a judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner today denied a request by the police officers to throw out Brian Mulligan’s claims they used excessive force, violated his civil rights, and engaged in assault and battery. The judge dismissed false imprisonment and police negligence claims, saying Mulligan didn’t provide sufficient evidence for those to go to trial.
Mulligan, a former vice chairman of media and telecommunications investment banking at Deutsche Bank, sued the two police officers, the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Protective League in February, seeking more than $20 million in damages. The case is set for trial Jan. 21.
Mulligan alleged that officers James Nichols and John Miller stopped him as he was walking in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles, where he says he had gone to legally buy tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, for use as a sleep aid.
Nichols and Miller found he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol and drugs and first took him to his car, where they discovered $3,000 in cash while searching without his consent, Mulligan said in his complaint.
The policemen took him to a motel and told him not to leave before morning or he would be “dead,” according to the complaint. Mulligan claims he was afraid he was being set up and fled the motel. He encountered the policemen again, and Nichols hit him in the face with his baton, shattering his nose, and broke his shoulder blade twice after he had been handcuffed, according to the complaint.
Lawyers for the two police officers and the city didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment on the judge’s ruling.
In a separate order today, the judge threw out a retaliation claim against the city. Mulligan can proceed with a negligent supervision claim against the city based on evidence he provided of other allegations of misconduct made against Nichols, Klausner said.
Klausner last month threw out Mulligan’s claims against the Police Protective League.
Mulligan’s lawyer, Louis “Skip” Miller, said in a phone interview that without the retaliation claim, the executive can’t seek damages for losing his job with Deutsche Bank after the publicity surrounding the beating.
Mulligan, who was 52 at the time of the beating, accused the Los Angeles Police Department and Police Protective League of releasing to the media a tape recording of a conversation he had had with a Glendale police officer, two days before his run-in with the LAPD officers, about bath salts, a paranoia-inducing stimulant.
Deutsche Bank fired Mulligan in November 2012, a few weeks after the tape recording was made public, citing concerns about “publicized disclosures related to personal matter,” according to Mulligan’s complaint.
The case is Mulligan v. Nichols, 2:13-cv-00836, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).