Appeals Court Upholds $680,000 Verdict For Former City Police Officer, Plus $100,000 In Legal Bills Against City

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A federal appeals court has upheld a $680,000 verdict for former Chattanooga Police Officer Mikel Hoback.

The appeals court said, "The jury had a chance to hear Hoback's explanations for his disability requests and weigh his credibility accordingly, and the City has offered no reason to overturn the jury's decision. Because a panel opinion of this court would serve no jurisprudential purpose, we adopt the reasoning of the district court and affirm on the basis of its opinion in all other respects." 

The city has also been ordered to pay almost $100,000 to his attorneys, Phil and David Lawrence and Mike Richardson. David Lawrence filed for $2,065, Phil Lawrence for $70,938 and Mike Richardson for $26,964. The total attorney fee award was $99,967.

The suit was filed in  2010 and tried in 2011.

It says Mr. Hoback returned to the city police department after combat service in Iraq from 2004-2005. It says he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, but had no limitations on his police service.

However, after then-Chief Freeman Cooper would no longer allow him to serve after learning that he had a "mental disorder," the suit said.

The complaint said a VA physician had ordered him involuntarily committed, saying he had suicidal tendencies. It was claimed that the physician misunderstood his condition and that he had only gone in concerning an issue about his medication for PTSS.   


Parts Of Riverpark Temporarily Closed Due To Rainfall

Parts of the Riverpark are temporarily closed due to rainfall. They include the entire trail behind Chattanooga State, a ll fishing piers, the main boat ramp and trail near the boat ramp. Access to South Chickamauga Creek from Lost Mound is flooded beneath the Amnicola Highway Bridge and the trail is closed in that area. From the Rowing Center (Citgo Creek Bridge) to Manker ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Brutal Attack On Girlfriend Is Now Charged With Warning Her Not To Come To Court

A Soddy Daisy man charged with a brutal attack on his girlfriend is now charged with warning her not to come to court. Michael Scott Strader, 30, is charged with coercion of a witness. He earlier was charged with attempted second-degree murder after his girlfriend said he attacked her with his fists, a beer can, a fork, windshield wiper fluid,a brick and a heavy barbell. ... (click for more)

No Tax-Supported Entity Should Get Secrecy In Spending

A shadowy situation has emerged in Chattanooga with an organization that manages millions of taxpayer dollars with no transparency and such a surprising disregard for accountability that one wonders what it would take to wake up elected officials who are supposedly in charge. Welcome to the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose lawyer threatened to sue the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Genius Comes This Way

They claim that about 50 years ago there was this special night at the Tivoli Theater. The “Jewel of the South” had been sold out for weeks and about 45 minutes before Louis Armstrong, or whoever, was to appear, incomparable John Robere had pulled out all the stops on “The Mighty Wurlitzer” and the excitement was keen. This tuxedoed dandy – he was even wearing spats – escorted his ... (click for more)

Lookouts Double Header Cancelled Sunday Due To Heavy Rains

The Lookouts have announced that Sunday's(4/23) double-header has been postponed due to inclement weather, unplayable field conditions and impending forecast.   The team will make up these contests as part of two double headers, one  on Monday  and one  on Tuesday .  Both double headers will start at  5:15 p.m.  and will consist of ... (click for more)

UTC Track Completes In War Eagle Invitational

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Haley Morris (Lenoir City, Tenn.) topped her personal best in the women’s 3000 meter Steeplechase over the weekend at the War Eagle Invitational.   Morris finished fourth in the steeplechase with a time of 11:48.74, edging her previous top time set in the finals of the 2016 Southern Conference championships.   Also ... (click for more)