ZAMBITO AND EICHER OBTAIN AFFIRMANCE OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND ATTORNEY’S FEES ORDER FOLLOWING ZAMBITO’S FIRST NINTH CIRCUIT ORAL ARGUMENT

On March 24, 2020, in Spangler v. County of Ventura, et al., a case handled by Rocco Zambito and Jim Eicher, LBAC successfully obtained affirmance of a lower court order granting summary judgment and awarding attorneys’ fees in favor of the County of Ventura.  In the lawsuit, the plaintiff had alleged Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in a case arising out of a police chase involving a Ventura County Deputy Sheriff and the plaintiff’s adult son, who was observed riding a motorcycle and committing multiple traffic violations. While attempting to evade the Sheriff’s Deputy, the plaintiff’s son drove off a roadway and over a hillside, resulting in his death. On appeal, the plaintiff asserted that the District Court did not apply the proper standard in ruling on the plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment claim and erred in sanctioning the plaintiff for continuing to pursue frivolous claims. Following oral argument, which was Mr. Zambito’s first oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ever, the Court issued its decision affirming the District Court’s decision on all grounds, holding that the District Court correctly applied the “purpose-to-harm” standard in evaluating the plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment claim and did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys’ fees in favor of the County of Ventura.

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