On Friday, June 28, 2013, at 11:30 p.m., after five (5) days of trial, a jury in the Circuit Court of Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee, rendered a defense verdict (take nothing judgment) in favor of a national bus company. Lee Piovarcy and Lew Wardlaw of the Martin Tate Firm in Memphis tried the case to verdict. The case went to the jury on both compensatory and punitive damages. The causes of action alleged against the bus company and the security guard were False Arrest; False Imprisonment; Assault and Battery; False Light and Section 1983 Violations of Constitutional Rights.
The relevant facts involve a 68 year old woman, who weighed less than 100 pounds who was handcuffed by a 280 pound private security guard in the terminal. The woman was asking for her luggage which did not arrive with her on her bus. She was in Memphis to attend a relative’s funeral and for a family reunion. There were allegations that employees of the bus company assisted the security guard when he arrested the lady for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. The bus company employee allegedly assisted in handcuffing the woman and detaining her until Memphis Police Officers arrived. The Defendant security guard was found guilty of assault and battery and minimal compensatory damages only were awarded. No damages were awarded against the bus company.