Dole v. County of LA

“Things have to change so citizens of this county feel safe. Deputies can’t come out and beat the heck out of us because we look a little different.”

Garo Mardirossian

On Februrary 11, 1989, the Dole family and friends had a bridal shower in a Cerritos home.

During the festivities the Sheriff’s Department allegedly received a call about party-goers “fighting in the streets with sticks and knives.” More than 100 deputies arrived at the Cerritos home and kicked down the door. Deputies stormed into the home pushing, beating, and handcuffing family members.

The deputies claimed the party-goers threw rocks, bottles, and other items at them and resisted arrest. Fortunately, a neighbor videotaped the whole incident.

A lawsuit was filed against the County of Los Angeles for false arrest, violation of civil rights, excessive force, legal fees, defamation of character, and punitive damages. The family also alleged the Sheriff’s Department tried to cover up the incident by filing false reports, procuring false testimony, initiating malicious prosecution, and failing to adequately investigate and discipline the deputies who were involved.

During the trial against the County, Garo brought numerous witnesses to the stand to testify to the peacefulness of the party along with the videotape of the incident. The defense claimed the force used was necessary because the family violently attacked the deputies, but none of it was captured on the video. After twenty-nine weeks the jury found the deputies guilty and awarded the Doles with the largest police brutality judgement in U.S. history, $15.9 million.

After the trial, the County appealed the judgment but it was affirmed by the Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court rejected the county’s request for a hearing. Thereafter, the County agreed to pay the verdict along with the interest.

Total Payout:


© 2024 Mardirossian Akaragian LLP All rights reserved. | Design: Simply Friday

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. The information contained in this website does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any legal matter. Mardirossian Akaragian LLP, is responsible for the contents of this website. For more information, please click on the link to our Legal Disclaimer.

 Please note that the attorneys of this office are licensed to practice law in the State of California only.

Free Case Evaluation

    Name (required)

    Message (required)

    A brief description of your legal issue

    Disclaimer *

    The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.