Orlando Sentinel – Jury awards $2.3 million to family of man shot to death by Marion County deputy
By Susan Jacobson
May 31, 2014
A federal jury on Friday awarded $2.3 million to the parents of a Summerfield man shot to death by a Marion County deputy sheriff. Dashcam video shows Deputy Lauren Miley firing at 21-year-old Joshua Salvato as he backed away from her on a road in Summerfield about 10:45 p.m. on July 5, 2012.
Another deputy, Norman Brown, then shocked Salvato with a stun gun a dozen times over six minutes, according to attorneys for the Salvato family.
Ocala StarBanner – Jury finds for plaintiff in wrongful death case against MCSO
By Jill Warren
May 30, 2014
Senior Judge William Terrell Hodges on Friday asked for no courtroom outbursts after the verdict. Salvato’s parents shared quiet congratulatory hugs with their attorneys after hearing the decision.
My News13 – Jury awards $2 million in Joshua Salvato wrongful death suit
By Dave D’ Marko
May 30, 2014
A federal jury has awarded $2 million in a wrongful death suit involving the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Two deputies shot and killed a man two years ago, and this video was a key piece of evidence.
The deputies involved were cleared criminally by a grand jury and FDLE investigation.
ABC 20, WCJB-TV – Verdict Is In
Paige Beck, David Snyder
May 30, 2014
Marion County, FL — The verdict is in – after seven hours of deliberations today two Marion County deputies have been found responsible for using excessive force against a man from Summerfield. 21-year-old Joshua Salvato was killed in an altercation with deputies in July 2012.
$2.1 Million – that’s how much the Marion County Sheriff’s Office will have to pay in damages to the Salvato family. The jury of three men and five women found Sheriff Chris Blair and Deputies Lauren Miley and Norman Brown responsible for using deadly force that resulted in the wrongful death of Salvato.
47WTEV & FOX30 WEWS – Jury awards $2.2M to family in Marion deputy shooting wrongful death suit
MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A jury has awarded a family $2.2 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against two Marion County deputies Friday. Video from a camera in a deputy’s patrol car shows 21-year-old Joshua Salvato struggling with deputies during a traffic stop in 2012.
Yahoo! – Marion County Fla. Sheriffs’ Office and Deputies Found Guilty in Wrongful Death of Unarmed Man
May 30, 2014
A jury of 3 men and 5 women found Sheriff Chris Blair, and Deputies Lauren Miley and Norman Brown of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, responsible for using excessive deadly force that resulted in the wrongful death of Joshua Salvato, an unarmed 21-year-old, who was shot and killed by the deputies nearly two years ago. The verdict was issued today after an eight-day trial in the United District Court, Middle District of Florida Ocala Division, under presiding Judge William Terrell Hodges.
Sample of posts:
Full Business Wire Press Release:
Marion County Fla. Sheriffs’ Office and Deputies Found Guilty
In Wrongful Death of Unarmed Man
Federal Court Jury awards family of Joshua Salvato $2.3 million in restitution
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A jury of 3 men and 5 women found Sheriff Chris Blair, and Deputies Lauren Miley and Norman Brown of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, responsible for using excessive deadly force that resulted in the wrongful death of Joshua Salvato, an unarmed 21-year-old, who was shot and killed by the deputies nearly two years ago. The verdict was issued today after an eight-day trial in the United District Court, Middle District of Florida Ocala Division, under presiding Judge William Terrell Hodges.
“Through this verdict, our community stood up and spoke on behalf of my son Josh. They sent a message that the Sheriff is not above the law and his position does not grant him immunity for wrongdoing nor does it protect him from being held accountable”
The jury returned restitution in the amount of $2.3 million, charging Miley used excessive force and Brown willfully and wantonly acted in bad faith by inflicting conscious pain and suffering on Joshua Salvato before he died. The jury further charged that the Sheriff violated department protocol in his failure to investigate the shooting, thus ratifying the actions of Miley and that Brown “acted with malice and outrageous conduct.”
“Through this verdict, our community stood up and spoke on behalf of my son Josh. They sent a message that the Sheriff is not above the law and his position does not grant him immunity for wrongdoing nor does it protect him from being held accountable,” said plaintiff Vincent Salvato, father of the victim.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this trial. The defendants were not truthful during the Grand Jury investigation. If not for the civil justice system, the full scope of the evidence would never have been heard and justice would not have been served,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Theodore Leopold, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. Also representing Vincent Salvato in the civil case are co-counsel Antonio M. Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, and Janet Varnell of Varnell & Warwick, P.A.
The federal lawsuit charged that Salvato, of Summerfield was deprived of his civil rights as a U.S. citizen under both the Fourteenth and the Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. According to the complaint, on July 6, 2012, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Deputy Miley responded to a 911 call concerning an alleged disturbance along a local highway. Joshua Salvato was walking along the road when Miley approached and started questioning him. She asked whether he was carrying a weapon and confirmed that the only item in his pockets was a piece of bread. She then proceeded to call for back up, despite having no cause to place Salvato under arrest or take him into custody. When Deputy Brown arrived he drove Joshua’s face in the ground and the two Deputies attempted to handcuff Salvato, without any justification of a crime being committed. Salvato, in fear for his life, escaped from their grasp and was moving away from the deputies when he was shot and killed.
Salvato’s tragic death was captured by the patrol car’s dashboard camera, a key piece of evidence in trial. The footage established that Miley pulled out her service pistol and opened fire, shooting Salvato in the abdomen as he was retreating away from her. As Salvato lay face down bleeding to death in the middle of the road, Deputy Miley handcuffed Salvato. Brown then tasered Salvato 12 consecutive times over six minutes, prior to Salvato dying of his gunshot wound.
“We are very pleased for the family, and through this trial justice prevailed. While nothing can bring this young man back, with this verdict Joshua’s father, Vincent Salvato, and his family can finally start to heal from this tragic loss,” said Antonio Romanucci.
The lawsuit is Civil Action No. 5:12-CV-635-OC-10PRL.
Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex cases, Cohen Milstein, with 80 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. For more information, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com or call 202-408-4600.
Varnell & Warwick, P.A. is a complex consumer litigation firm that is a champion of public interest dedicated to protecting people and the environment; challenge government, corporate and individual wrongdoing; and increasing access to justice. Located in Lady Lake, Fla. The firm can be contacted at 352-753-8600 or through their website www.varnellandwarwick.com.
Romanucci & Blandin, considered one of Illinois’ top plaintiff’s personal injury and civil trial practice law firms, represents individuals and their families in catastrophic personal injury matters, wrongful death and workers’ compensation cases. The firm has won more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients. Further information is available at www.rblaw.net or by calling (312) 253-8600.