Green v. Co. of RiversideAnnotate this Case
Lois Green filed an action for violation of civil rights and the Fourteenth Amendment under 42 United States Code section 1983 and wrongful death under California law against the County of Riverside, and Riverside County Deputy Sheriffs Christopher Cazarez, Mark Janecka and David Dietrich, arising out of the death of her son, Lawrence Rosenthal, while in the officers' custody. After an 18-day trial, the jury returned a special verdict finding that only Cazarez used unreasonable force, but that force was not a substantial factor in causing Rosenthal's death. The court entered judgment against Green and awarded costs of suit to the defendants. Green argued on appeal that the trial court: (1) committed prejudicial error in admitting evidence that Rosenthal was under the influence of cocaine; (2) erred in refusing to instruct the jury on negligence; and (3) improperly awarded paralegal fees as costs. Finding no merit in Green's contentions, the Court of Appeal affirmed.