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Sep 30, 2009 11:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Southampton Village Police officer's lawsuit against village dismissed

Sep 30, 2009 11:54 AM

A $1.5 million lawsuit filed against Southampton Village by retired Village Police Officer Brian Platt was dismissed in federal court on Friday.

In the lawsuit filed last year, Mr. Platt claimed that he was the victim of retaliation in the department and that his constitutional rights were being violated.

The motion dismissing Mr. Platt’s suit, signed by Judge Joanna Seybert in federal court in Central Islip on Friday, rejects all of the police officer’s claims. Mr. Platt, who has not been on duty since 2005, was represented by attorney Steven A. Morelli of Carle Place.

In his initial lawsuit filed last year, Mr. Platt claimed that Police Chief William Wilson instituted a departmental policy restricting the activities of officers on leave that specifically targeted him. But Justice Seybert dismissed that claim in her decision.

Mr. Morelli said Monday that he has not yet read Justice Seybert’s motion, but will discuss a possible appeal with Mr. Platt.

Attorney Steven C. Stern of Sokoloff Stern LLP in Westbury, who represented Southampton Village in court, maintains that Mr. Platt and his attorney have very little legal ground to stand on in an appeal, as the case was dismissed with prejudice. “The judge threw this case out on a motion to dismiss by finding that the case as stated did not state a legal claim against any of the defendants,” Mr. Stern said. “That means that just looking at the allegations as he stated it, that it was insufficient to allow the litigation to proceed to discovery, which is before you get to trial.”

Mr. Platt, who suffered an injury on the job in 2005, filed the lawsuit in July 2008 and claimed that a police department policy instituted by Chief Wilson directly impacted him and violated his civil rights as a disabled person. The policy, called General Order 83, requires police officers on leave to report to the department each morning and ask for permission to leave home.

Mr. Platt maintained that the policy was instituted by the chief as a way of getting revenge for an allegation Mr. Platt had made against the chief. Mr. Platt also was listed as a witness in former police officer Christopher Brioch’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Southampton Village regarding discrimination based on race and national origin. Nothing has come of the complaint, but Mr. Platt felt that his status as a witness in it provoked police department officials to target him.

The lawsuit claimed that the policy violated his rights as a disabled person, and exacerbated the post traumatic stress disorder he suffers from.

Judge Seybert, however, dismissed these claims, saying that Mr. Platt did not suffer anything more than inconvenience from the police department policy to report in while on leave.

Southampton Village itself, as well as the entire sitting Board of Trustees—except Richard Yastrzemski who was not on the board at the time of the incident—and Mayor Mark Epley, were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Mr. Epley was happy that the suit was dismissed. “I thought the majority of the lawsuit was going to be dismissed, but I didn’t know the entire suit would be dismissed,” he said.

Chief Wilson was also thrilled to hear the results of the case. “It was frivolous in its very nature, and I was hopeful it would be dismissed,” he said. “It didn’t come as a big surprise, but you can never tell with litigation.”

JESSICA DINAPOLI

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If you watch the banter on CNN AC360 you will hear "we are all entitled to our own opinions but we are not entitled to our own facts. Here are some facts you will probably not read about in the Southampton Independent or the Southampton Press printed addition. On July 23rd 2009 Christopher A. Broich won his decision against the Village in Federal Court. Page 21 and 22 of the decision reads as follows;

CV-08-0553 (SJF) (ARL)

III Conclusion

For the reasons stated herein: ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Sep 29, 09 9:19 PM
Without proper context, RonDo, your recitation of the above is meaningless -- I'm sure it have meaning for you, but what does it have to do with Brian Platt's case?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 30, 09 9:46 AM
Frank,
The Southampton Press called me yesterday and asked me to comment. I asked the same question you did. What does this have to do with me? The Press wanted me to comment on Chief Wilson's crystal ball prediction. Essentially I told them what I thought and asked why there was no ink on my success in Federal Court. Thats why you see what I posted. I actually emailed a copy of my decision to the press and asked them to make it available for you the readers to download and view. They emailed ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Sep 30, 09 12:38 PM
The below paragraph from the article is why Rondo felt the need to post...

"Mr. Platt maintained that the policy was instituted by the chief as a way of getting revenge for an allegation Mr. Platt had made against the chief. Mr. Platt also was listed as a witness in former police officer Christopher Brioch’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Southampton Village regarding discrimination based on race and national origin. Nothing has come of the complaint, but Mr. ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Sep 30, 09 12:05 PM
"Nothing has come of the complaint"

pstevens

Plenty has come of this complaint. The Federal Court decision was made public July 23 2009. There has been no press coverage of the decision, that much is correct. If you go to pacer online you can download your copy and read it. The number assigned is CV-08-0553.

Simply put Broich won a good decision! In terms of a timeline October 8th discover demands are due. Broich is ready.

christopherbroich@gmail.com
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Sep 30, 09 5:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
this cop is "disabled" from an "injury on the job" ? -- what happened? Was this the cop that drove his cruiser into a deer? Or was this another one of those "back injuries" that so many cops seem to develop, from sitting for so many hours in their Crown Vic. ?
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Oct 1, 09 1:02 AM