Niskayuna settles excessive force lawsuit over drunken driver’s arrest for $192,500

NISKAYUNA POLICEA still image from a police car dashboard video camera shows a Niskayuna police officer pulling Erick Rosenberg from his car by his left arm on May 30, 2016.
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NISKAYUNA POLICE

A still image from a police car dashboard video camera shows a Niskayuna police officer pulling Erick Rosenberg from his car by his left arm on May 30, 2016.

Categories: News, Your Niskayuna

ALBANY — Niskayuna has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged town police used excessive force and injured him during an arrest.

The town will pay $192,500 to resolve the lawsuit by Erick Rosenberg, his attorney, Kevin Luibrand, said Thursday.

The settlement was reached in late October, shortly before the case was to go to trial, Luibrand said.

“It was a proper settlement under the circumstances,” he said.

Niskayuna Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed and the attorney representing the town, Shawn Brousseau, did not return voicemail and email requests for comment for this story.

The lawsuit Luibrand filed on May 26, 2017, names as defendants the town of Niskayuna and Jeffery Relation, Nicholas Pardi and Paul Hobson, all officers with the town Police Department.

The lawsuit is based on a May 30, 2016, incident that was recorded with a patrol car dashboard video camera.

The lawsuit alleged that:

  • Relation tried to stop Rosenberg for a traffic violation.
  • Rosenberg drove a block further and pulled into his own driveway before stopping; Relation pulled in behind him.
  • Hobson and Pardi arrived soon after; all three officers knew Rosenberg suffered from a physical disability that impaired use of his left arm and hand.
  • Relation grabbed Rosenberg by his back and left arm and dragged him out of his vehicle through the open driver’s side window.
  • Relation twisted Rosenberg’s left arm until the long bone in the upper arm sustained a displaced fracture.
  • Relation and Pardi then twisted Rosenberg’s left arm 180 degrees to handcuff him, leaving his left hand and broken left arm facing in the wrong direction; Hobson meanwhile pinned Rosenberg’s legs down.

Rosenberg faced multiple charges after his arrest but ultimately pleaded guilty only to felony-level driving while intoxicated, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Luibrand said Thursday that Rosenberg still lives in the area and is now trying to move forward from the incident, with even less function in his left arm than he had previously.

“After these events his arm usage is substantially limited,” Luibrand said.

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