Volume 33, Issue 1 (January 1988)
Claims of Psychiatric Injury After Alleged False Arrest
Litigation has increased rapidly in the United States; those who feel aggrieved sue readily for damages. Police officers and security people may be sued after arrests or detention followed by unsuccessful prosecution or dropping of criminal charges. Claims of psychiatric injury may be made where there are no discernible damages otherwise. Examiners must keep in mind that physical abuse or grossly inappropriate police behavior may be factors in the ultimate results. This paper reviews 13 cases of claimed psychiatric injury after arrest. Almost all were settled, some for significant amounts. Appropriateness of evaluation, the value of nuisance suits in this type of litigation, the role of attorneys' fees, and the effect of Federal suits as opposed to state suits are discussed.