A lawsuit filed against the Modesto Police Department by a Stockton woman who claims an officer broke four of her ribs in January 2007 at an 11th Street bar heads to trial this week.
Margaret Shepherd is seeking $1 million in damages, charging that an officer broke her ribs while trying to arrest her when she inquired about why one of her son's friends was ejected from the Copper Rhino bar during a birthday party.
Shepherd's attorney offered the city a settlement last week, but the city declined it.
"The city feels strongly that the officers did their job in a difficult situation, fully within the bounds of the law," City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood said.
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Shepherd filed her lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Fresno. The trial was scheduled to begin Monday but was delayed by another case.
Modesto is awaiting a decision from the same court on whether it owes attorney's fees in a lawsuit filed by a man who asserted that police used excessive force when they arrested him at a 10th Street club in the waning hours of the 2005 X-Clamation Festival.
A jury in May sided with Wendell Jamon Jones of San Jose, finding that officers mistreated him when they rushed people out of the Palladium nightclub early on July 24, 2005.
Jones was awarded $9,990 in penalties. His attorney, Anthony Harris, is seeking $312,321 in fees.
The court is expected to decide later this month whether Harris is to be awarded those fees. Wood has said the request could be diminished because the city won a motion striking from the lawsuit some of the officers Harris named in the claim.
Bee staff writer Adam Ashton can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2366.