Romanucci & Blandin and Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge Announce Final Approval of Settlement of Investigatory Stop Class Action Cases Against the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department
CHICAGO (September 20, 2023) – Romanucci & Blandin, LLC and Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge announce the final approval of the Settlement Agreement reached in their Investigatory Stop Class Action Lawsuit versus the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. The agreement was approved in July 2023 by the Chicago Council, and today received final approval by Magistrate Judge Heather K. McShain of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
The class action lawsuit challenged investigatory stop practices by CPD officers for years, alleging widespread Fourth Amendment Violations for police stops, largely of Black and Hispanic men, without reasonable articulable suspicion. The landmark agreement includes enhanced training, supervision and accountability systems, more community involvement, policy changes, and binding judicial oversight - all designed to help officers do their job more effectively, build community confidence in the police department, and more effectively use police resources.
The $5 million settlement includes payments to five named plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs were represented by Founding Partner Antonio M. Romanucci and others of Romanucci & Blandin, and Partners Steven Hart and Brian Eldridge of Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge.
This Agreement is the product of more than six years of litigation between the parties and builds on the reforms underway at CPD by expanding the scope of the Consent Decree being overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer to include oversight and reform of CPD’s policies and training related to investigatory stops as well as data collection and analysis by CPD. The City of Chicago, CPD, and Plaintiffs entered into this settlement with the shared recognition that the ability of a police department to protect the community it serves is only as strong as the relationship it has with that community. The agreed-upon reforms to investigatory stop practices aim to build and strengthen relationships between CPD, its officers, and all members of the community. The purpose of this Agreement is to ensure that the City of Chicago and CPD protect the statutory and Constitutional rights of all members of the community, treat individuals with dignity and respect, enhance both officer and public safety and improve the City’s ability to effectively address crime by increasing public confidence in the CPD. At the same time, the parties recognize that police officers work in difficult conditions. In this Agreement, the City commits to ensuring that its officers have the necessary resources to perform their duties successfully and within Constitutional boundaries to promote officer and public safety. This Agreement is a positive step towards significant, lasting change for CPD, and the communities it serves.
About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC
Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death. For 25 years, we have secured more than $850 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients - many for millions of dollars and others record-setting awards. Our experience ranges from mass shootings, civil rights and police misconduct to medical malpractice, sexual abuse, motor vehicle accidents or workplace injury cases involving individual or institutional negligence. Romanucci & Blandin is a valuable legal resource to individuals and groups of people who have been injured by others’ wrongdoing. Referring attorneys and clients say several factors differentiate our firm: Our record of success, depth of experience, talented and dedicated legal team, tireless preparation and strategic use of communications to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been changed forever. We are different from other personal injury firms in that our work does not stop when a verdict or settlement is secured. We are often inspired by our clients’ experiences and commit resources to create change in our communities. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit www.rblaw.net or call (312) 458-1000.
About Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge
Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, LLC (“HME”) is a firm of trial lawyers specializing in civil rights, mass tort, and class action cases. The attorneys at HME practice on a nationwide basis in both federal and state courts and are actively involved in some of the largest and most significant cases in the country. HME attorneys are invested in the fight for justice and consistently take on cases to advance civil justice and equal rights. HME prides itself on winning complex cases, fiercely advocating for its clients, and being a driving force behind civil and social change in Chicago and throughout the country. HME’s civil rights practice includes cases involving wrongful convictions, wrongful shootings, police brutality, and unconstitutional policing. HME has also successfully challenged police policies through civil rights and class action cases in both Illinois in elsewhere. For more information about Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge please visit www.hmelegal.com or call (312) 955-0545.