Attorney Richard P. Weisbeck, Jr. recently obtained a $2.9 million settlement on behalf of his client, who nearly died while in police custody. The defendants in this lawsuit included the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department, Regal Cinemas, and American Medical Response ambulance company.
In a front-page story, The Buffalo News published an in-depth report on Noah Giusiana, the victim in this case who suffered a life-threatening brain injury as the result of being slammed onto a sidewalk by a Regal Cinema security officer.
Regal Cinema Security
Mr. Giusiana attended a late-night film at a Regal Cinema in Buffalo, NY with his younger brother. While exiting the movie theater, Mr. Giusiana and his brother were “horsing around” and wrestling outside the theater. Mr. Giusiana was confronted by a Regal Cinema assistant manager and a brief altercation ensued.
Seconds later, Noah Giusiana was grabbed by off-duty Buffalo Police Officer Mark Andrzejak, who was working as a Regal Cinema security officer at the time. Mark Andrzejak then slammed Mr. Giusiana to the sidewalk.
Unnecessary and Excessive Force
As reported by The Buffalo News, Mr. Giusiana’s attorney Richard Weisbeck stated “Andrzejak used ‘unnecessary and excessive force’ to the point that an eyewitness heard Noah Giusiana’s head crack when it struck the sidewalk. A witness stated that Mr. Giusiana appeared unconscious as he was lying still, facedown on the ground.
The Buffalo Police department arrived at the scene and placed Mr. Giusiana under arrest. The arresting officer at the scene, Ronald J. Ammerman testified that he was never told Mr. Giusiana’s head struck the sidewalk. Officer Ammerman’s testimony also revealed that Mark Andrzejak gave false statements regarding Mr. Giusiana’s actions.
Attendants from American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance company arrived at the scene of the incident. The AMR attendants asked Mr. Giusiana a series of questions and then cleared him to be taken by the Buffalo Police to Central Booking. Richard Weisbeck stated “AMR was sued because his client should have been transported to the hospital instead.”
Seizures While in Custody
A cellblock video shows that Noah Giusiana vomited in a sink and slowly slumped to the floor of his cell in Buffalo Police Central Booking around 6:44 AM on the morning of his arrest. Shortly after 9:00 AM, Mr. Giusiana was found unresponsive, lying on the floor of this holding cell. An ambulance was then called and Mr. Giusiana was rushed to Erie County Medical Center, where he underwent emergency brain surgery.
In The Buffalo News’ report, Richard Weisbeck states that the cellblock attendant failed to conduct an in-person check on Noah Giusiana and falsified log records. Mr. Weisbeck went on to state “There were many symptoms of the brain injury displayed at the time that should have been noticed by the cellblock attendant. Noah had vomited blood.”
Noah Giusiana survived after undergoing emergency brain surgery. However, Mr. Giusiana stated that he is nearly 50% blind, has trouble with his memory, and suffers from other cognitive impairments. Richard Weisbeck said “If Noah had been taken to the hospital and treated in a timely manner, the neurosurgeon said he would not have suffered permanent brain injuries.
$2.9 Million Settlement
As reported by The Buffalo News, Noah Giusiana sued the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department, seven police officers, Regal Cinemas, off-duty officer Mark Andrzejak, AMR, and two ambulance attendants. Mr. Giusiana’s lawsuit is because the defendants falsely arrested him, negligently caused his injuries, denied him medical care in a timely manner, committed medical malpractice, and failed to train their employees properly.
The Buffalo Common Council approved payment Mr. Giusiana $1.05 Million. The remainder of the settlement came from other defendants.