John P. Bushemi has successfully won summary judgment for the City of Hobart in two recent lawsuits. In the first case, plaintiffs sued the city in Lake Superior Court for claims that the city was negligent in locating its skate park adjacent to a railroad line. Plaintiffs’ 16 year old daughter was killed when she was struck by a train while walking with friends along the railroad tracks after leaving the skate park. Plaintiffs claimed damages of $300,000. The court dismissed the lawsuit and ruled that the city owed no legal duty to the deceased at the time of the incident because she had voluntarily trespassed onto private railroad property leading to her death.
In defense of the second lawsuit, Mr. Bushemi was assisted by Jeremy Butler. Plaintiffs sued the city in U. S. District Court for claims that their constitutional rights were violated by false arrest and excess force. Plaintiffs claimed damages of $500,000. The Federal court dismissed the claims of constitutional rights violations and ruled that city police officers were entitled to qualified immunity because they had probable cause to arrest the plaintiffs for violations of the law and their use of force in arresting plaintiffs was reasonable.