Some lawsuits pursued by Kline & Specter transcend typical liability issues, with clients suffering serious physical injury due to a violation of their civil rights -- namely their right to be free from harm.
These cases may involve a catastrophic injury involving the police, mass transit or other government-related agency. If you or a loved one was badly hurt or killed in an incident involving a violation of your civil rights matter, you should contact contact a civil rights attorney today.
Kline & Specter only handles civil rights cases involving serious bodily injury or death. With more than 35 experienced attorneys, several of them former prosecutors, the law firm has obtained not only redress for its clients in civil rights cases but also important societal changes to protect the safety of citizens.
Most recently, in January 2017, Tom Kline obtained an historic settlement for the City of Philadelphia to pay $4.4 million to a take-out food deliveryman who was shot and grievously wounded by plainclothes officers. The settlement was the largest-ever by the city and the sixth-largest nationally in a police shooting case. But importantly, the city also agreed to revamp regulations and implement new training protocols for plainclothes officers. (Media coverage coming)
In an earlier case, Shanin Specter sued the City of Philadelphia after LeeMore Rich and his infant son were killed by a speeding police car as they stood on a street corner. The civil rights claim allowed Specter to circumvent the city’s sovereign immunity – which set a $250,000 cap on lawsuits. He settled the case for $2.5 million. (See Gillyard/Rich)
But Specter did not stop there. In researching the case, he discovered many smaller settlements paid by the city to victims of similar accidents. He also found that over roughly a four-year period city police vehicles had been involved in 3,800 collisions, most of them avoidable. Specter's persistence in negotiations with the Philadelphia Police Department resulted in a series of reforms to improve police driver training, deter reckless driving and heighten safety.
Kline won a $51 million jury verdict in a case in which he represented a little boy whose foot was torn off in a Philadelphia subway escalator. Kline not only achieved the large verdict but also a promise from the mass transit agency, SEPTA, to repair and replace all of its outdated escalators. And Kline has followed up over the years, conducting inspections of the subway stations to make sure that SEPTA kept its word. (See Hall v. SEPTA)
In 2010, the firm secured a settlement worth $11.8 in a "state-created danger" suit against the Philadelphia Housing Authority over persistent mold in a home that caused a teenage girl to suffer an acute asthma attack that left her brain damaged. (McKinney)
In ongoing litigation, Kline is suing the School District of Philadelphia for negligence in the abduction and sexual abuse of a five-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her elementary school and repeatedly assaulted. A woman accused in the case was convicted on six criminal charges, including kidnapping.
In another current case, the law firm is suing two Philadelphia police officers who shot an unarmed pizza delivery man. The victim was shot as he tried to leave the scene in his car because he mistook the plainclothes officers as robbers. He suffered gunshot wounds to his face and leg.
The firm handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.