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ENNIS HIGHTOWER v. NASSAU COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

United States District Court, E.D. New York


December 2, 2004.

ENNIS HIGHTOWER, Plaintiff,
v.
NASSAU COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, C.O. JOHN KENNEDY, C.O. RONALD HARTUNG, C.O. MATTHEW ANDERSON, C.O. JOHN LAGORMARSINO, CPL. GARY McGUINNESS, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: ARTHUR SPATT, District Judge

ORDER

By Memorandum of Decision and Order dated November 1, 2004, the Court, among other things, directed that 25% of the monetary judgment of the plaintiff, Ennis Hightower, shall be applied to satisfy a portion of the amount of attorneys' fees awarded against the defendants. In computing the judgment, however, the court erred in calculating the precise amount of the judgment to be applied toward the attorneys' fees. Plaintiff was awarded a judgment in the amount of $165,000.00. Accordingly, twenty-five percent of this judgment, or $41,250.00, shall be applied to satisfy the award of attorneys' fees.

The Court now restates the fees to be awarded to all three of the Plaintiffs' counsel and recalculates the 25% portion that the Plaintiff is required to pay: Anthony Ofodile — 393.60 hours @ $135 per hour = $ 53,136.00 Travel 78 hours @ $67.50 per hour = 5,265.00 Total $ 58,401.00 Less 20% reduction 11,680.20 Net Fee $ 46,720.80 Chidi Eze — 138.04 hours @ $125 per hour = $ 17,255.00 Travel 49 hours @ $62.50 per hour = 3,062.50 $ 20,317.50 Less 20% reduction 4,063.50 Net Fee $ 16,254.00 William S. Robedee — 14.25 hours @ $135 per hour = $ 1,923.75 Less 20% reduction 384.75 Net Fee $ 1,539.00 Total Attorneys' Fees $ 64,513.80 Plaintiff's 25% Portion $ 41,250.00

  With regard to the Plaintiff's prior acceptance of the remittitur of damages, because the Court has recalculated the precise amount of plaintiff's judgment to be applied to satisfy the amount of attorneys' fees awarded against the defendants, the plaintiff's previous acceptance of the remittitur is vacated. The plaintiff is requested to again decide whether to accept this revised remittitur. The plaintiff is entitled to a new trial on the issue of damages, unless he agrees to the reduction of damages to a total of $165,000 less the sum of $41,250.00 that will be applied to the award of attorneys' fees.

  Based on the foregoing it is hereby

  ORDERED, that the section of the Court's November 1, 2004 Memorandum of Decision and Order that calculated the 25% portion of plaintiff's judgment that is to be applied to satisfy plaintiff's attorneys fees is VACATED; and it is further

  ORDERED, that the Clerk is directed to enter an amended judgment in favor of the plaintiff Ennis Hightower against the defendants Correction Officer Matthew Anderson, Correction Officer John Lagormarsino and Cpl. Gary McGuinness for compensatory damages in the sum of $100,000, and for punitive damages against the defendant Matthew Anderson in the sum of $15,000, for punitive damages against the defendant John Lagormarsino in the sum of $15,000, for punitive damages against the defendant Gary McGuinness in the sum of $35,000, for a total sum $165,000, together with the balance of attorneys fees of $23,263.80 and total costs in the sum of $2,934.31; and it is further

  ORDERED, that $41,250.00 of the plaintiff's recovery in the amount of $165,000.00, be applied to satisfy that portion of the amount of attorneys' fees awarded against the Defendants; and it is further

  ORDERED, that the Defendants pay the balance of the plaintiff's attorneys' fees in the amount of $23,263.80, as calculated above.

  ORDERED, that the plaintiff may file with the Clerk of the Court on or before December 22, 2004, an acceptance of the remittitur of $165,000 less the sum of $41,250.00, representing his share of the attorneys' fees, leaving a net amount of $112,375.00 for the plaintiff. In the event that the plaintiff does not file an acceptance of the remittitur on or before December 22, 2004, a new trial solely on the issue of compensatory damages will commence on a date to be set by the Court.

  SO ORDERED

20041202

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