Blake Horwitz has led the country in litigating many high profile matters. The cases have not only provided substantial compensation for his clients but have also changed policy and ended corruption in municipalities.
Joseph J. Smith, previously awarded $1.3 million from a 2014 judgment (see below: Smith v. Altman) in which a former Chicago Fire Department assaulted Smith, has now filed a new complaint against the City in Chicago’s federal court. Smith accused the Police Department of violating the Illinois Whistleblower Act and retaliating against him due to the jury verdict. After returning to work, Smith was demoted and was withheld pay for several months. In addition, Smith cites surgeries that have occurred as a result of the incident. The Blake Horwitz Law Firm will be representing him. Courthouse News
Randall Brown, an inmate at the Cook County Jail, is beaten by the Deputy Brandon Norise. So severe is the beating that the Cook County Sheriff recommended criminal prosecution of Deputy Norise. However, the Cook County State’s Attorney refused to prosecute. Notwithstanding the failures by the Office of the State’s Attorney, the Blake Horwitz Law Firm has filed a civil prosecution against the Deputy. Chicago Tribune
Jaclyn Pazera, a student at College of DuPage, was tackled to the ground and manhandled by Campus Police Officers as she sat in class. Ms. Pazera was arrested for trespass shortly after receiving a verbal warning by a Campus Police Officer for smoking a cigarette outside of a campus building. The Blake Horwitz Law Firm filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and the College of DuPage for excessive force and malicious prosecution.
The Blake Horwitz Law Firm filed a federal action on behalf of a city town collector who was falsely accused and prosecuted for criminal battery and obstruction of a police officer. She prevailed in the criminal trial. The Blake Horwitz Law Firm has filed a lawsuit against the City of Naperville and its officers for their false allegations and malicious prosecution. Chicago Tribune.
Chicago police officers threatened and lied to innocent civilians whom they arrested and brought to a location unknown to the public in Homan Square, Chicago, Illinois. When John Vergara, one of these innocent citizens, mentioned the name of his attorney, Blake Horwitz, he was released, upon the promise that Mr. Vergara would not advise Mr. Horwitz that he and other innocent civilians were taken to this secret location and threatened. The Guardian (Mar. 4, 2015), The Guardian (Mar. 20, 2015), Chicago Sun-Times, Fox News, NBC Chicago
Highland Park Police Officers shot and killed Christopher Anderson in the Highland Park Hospital after they ordered him to put down a weapon. Mr. Anderson did not threaten the officers with the weapon and was following their oral commands to put down the weapon when they fired at him and took his life. Chicago Tribune, NBC News
$150,000.00 settlement for our client who was assaulted, while shackled, by former Maywood Sheriff Deputy Rafael Munoz. Our client suffered a broken nose and tooth during the attack. Rafael Munoz was recently sentenced on January 7, 2015 in federal court to one year in federal prison by Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez. This was the stiffest sentence possible for a misdemeanor conviction in federal court. Magistrate Judge Valdez said she wanted others in law enforcement to know there are consequences for violating the public’s trust and that “they have to be careful how they do their jobs.” Youtube, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Fox
$1,331,779.15 verdict on behalf of our client, a Chicago Police Department marine diver who was assaulted and injured by a Chicago Fire Department battalion chief during the course of a river rescue.Chicago Sun-Times, Huffington Post, ABC News
Police officer terminated after complaining of racial profiling by fellow officers. Chicago Tribune, in a front-page article, reports pattern of racial profiling. McHenry County shown to have violated the civil rights of hundreds of Hispanics through data demonstrating racial profiling.
$28,000,000.00 verdict on behalf of a quadriplegic man injured by police officers. This record-breaking civil rights verdict is the highest reported verdict in the Midwest for a civil rights violation on behalf of an individual.
Class action lawsuit filed on behalf of citizens who were beaten, prosecuted and pepper sprayed after celebrating the election of President Barack Obama. This event demonstrated large-scale police misconduct whereby African Americans were attacked while celebrating the election of the first African American President.
$1,800,000.00 settlement for causing the death of a one-armed intoxicated man who was placed into a squadrol for transport.
$750,000.00 for a man beaten in jail by an inmate.
Paralyzed man attacked by Chicago Police Officers (Print Media)
Nurse arrested after not providing DUI test to arrestee upon officer’s request (Print Media).
$200,000.00 settlement for a man tasered by Sheriff Deputies in Nye County, Nevada.
Brown v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Nevada)
$100,000.00 settlement for family of man who committed suicide in jail.
$100,000.00 jury verdict for a Hispanic man who was falsely arrested and criminally prosecuted for felony and misdemeanor crimes.
Largest police misconduct verdict for pat-down (over the clothes) search in Illinois: $112,000.00 for an African-American woman who was searched by two Caucasian police officers because she had expired license plates (motion for remittitur was granted).
The Blue Island Community was outraged by the rise in police misconduct being perpetuated upon its citizens. Members of the community retained Blake Horwitz to represent them in their lawsuits. Twelve lawsuits were filed on one day against the City of Blue Island and it’s Police Department. After this rapid action, the community now claims a profound reduction in police misconduct.
A class action lawsuit was filed on July 10, 2009 against the Burr Oak Cemetery. Cemetery employees removed deceased bodies from gravesites, damaging and destroying the remains.
Blake Horwitz obtained injunctive relief on behalf of the families. Blake Horwitz, through court action, caused the cemetery owners to be removed and another individual (called a receiver) to be appointed so that the cemetery could be put back together. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has now investigated the cemetery for criminal activity and initiated prosecution against four individuals who committed the criminal conduct.
Burr Oak Cemetery is Chicago’s first African-American cemetery and the resting place of civil rights icon Emmit Till and jazz musician Dinah Washington. Many Chicago area families have laid their loved ones to rest here for generations.
Family members have descended upon the cemetery in hopes of finding their relatives’ gravesites undisturbed. The employees have been charged with a Class X felony of dismembering a human body; a charge that carries hefty prison sentences and monetary fines of up to $25,000.
Beginning in 2001, at least 900 men were falsely arrested and fined because of an illegal sting operation set up by the Stone Park Police Department. In Stone Park, a female undercover police officer approached men who were innocently washing their cars at a local car wash and solicited them. Although the men rejected the officers’ solicitation to engage in a sexual act, the innocent men were arrested, had their cars taken and were heavily fined. This was a highly profitable sting operation for Stone Park, bringing large revenue into the Village for the fines paid by the wrongly accused.
Blake Horwitz, became aware of the unlawful actions of the Village and Police Department, filed a lawsuit and notified the press. The public became aware, through the lawsuit and communication to several news organizations, of the misconduct. As a result, the seven-year lucrative operation ceased.
A lawsuit filed by Blake Horwitz, forced the takedown of barricades that were placed around a large community in Rolling Meadows. The community, a 34-acre property, was home to more than 2,000 residents. The City of Rolling Meadows Police Department arbitrarily determined that it needed to barricade the plaintiffs’ property, without providing the owner of the property or the residents an opportunity to object. Barricades were placed at twelve of the thirteen entrances and exits, and police monitored the only open entrance/exit.
The property owner, outraged by the violation of his constitutional rights, immediately retained Blake Horwitz to file a lawsuit on his behalf. Blake Horwitz immediately filed a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order. Hours before the hearing, the City buckled and removed the barricades.