333,000 won't bring the dog back. The cop cannot pay that. So the local government will foot the bill for what this judge awarded them. I am not sure how I feel about that. I agree that it sounds like the dog should not have been shot, and the one individual should not have been wrongfully arrested. But $333,000 is a lot of money. If it could bring the dog back, then I could understand it.
I can understand compensation for the 9-year-old dog 1-5k. Money will not change the pain and suffering that is caused by losing an old friend. If therapy was required due to the traumatic event, that should be compensated for. The rest of it is punitive damages. Punitive damages are to punish the person or person's responsible for the action.
So it sounds like the Judge (who is paid by we the people) is punishing the police department ( who is funded by we the people). Now the stinger for this. The local government has to shell out 333k. And they will charge tax on that 333k probably 1-2%. The state will charge another 2% or so. The feds will charge 35%. So figure 40% goes for taxes. Great, right. But the local government is getting stung, and the feds are getting more than 111k.
So now you have about 200k after taxes. But not so fast. These people are living in a building with a bunch of other people -- renters probably. So they PROBABLY do not have the money up front to pay for the lawyer. Usually lawyers work on a contingency plan. So after you shell out 1k-2k, then I will take this through the court proceedings for a percentage of the pot. Right? Now usually the lawyer gets them to settle out of court and they will ususally accept 30% of the pot if it settles out of court or 40% if it goes to court.
Only under certain circumstances can they have the money dispersed prior to it being taxed. The lawyer probably gets 133k, depending on his tax bracket and how much his operating costs are, the feds will take a good chunk of that, but the local will be lucky to see 1.33k.
Now, your four people, your family sees 67k at the end of the day. Yay, it is a good chunk of change, but what is actually happening is the local people are paying a huge amount of money to the federal government for something the feds did nothing for.
The dog is still dead, and the kids are still traumatized.
What do I think about this verdict. I think it stinks. We are paying out for something that has no monetary value. The police officers, captain, chief, whatever isn't digging it out of his own pockets. The local government is going to have to pay this, or the local government's civil liability insurance, and their rates will go up, and we will all pay in the end.
Did learning occur due to the amount of the reward? The $1000 the individual officer was fined, made sense, and yes, that is a chunk of change for a police officer. I think that beyond the cost of the dog, and any compensation for therapy, I do not think that the size of the the pay out makes it possible for this to impact the police department directly, and therefore, no. Will the local government feel it necessary to implement canine-sensitive training for their officers? Maybe, Probably won't be able to.
I guess I am always against huge pay-outs. If you kill a human being, let's say a mother of two with a yearly income of $130,000, wrongfully, that makes sense for them to cover that wrongful death. Wrongful death for a nine year old labrador to the tune of 333k is ludicrous, and I would be asking if the judge is in bed with the attorney.
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Last edited by selzer; 03-05-2012 at 10:59 PM.