A Favorable Verdict On A New Government Tort:
In August 2002, I obtained a $306,500 jury verdict in Benson v. State of Oregon. The Portland, Oregon jury awarded $300,000 for the emotional distress suffered by my client Roger Benson, who spent 43 days in jail after the Oregon State Police ID Section falsely delivered computer misinformation to California police, misidentifying Mr. Benson as a violent three-time felon. Mr. Benson’s story will be the subject of a book about his ordeal and how he fought to regain his life and dignity after a terrible, Kafkaesque fate befell him without warning.
Unfortunately, the Oregon Appeals Court reversed the verdict for Mr. Benson in an opinion that affirmed the validity of his claim, but objected to a judicial ruling at the close of trial. Mr. Benson was forced to settle the case after the appellate reversal for a fraction of the total verdict. He then sued Identix, the maker of the biometric fingerprint scanning machine that had caused the snafu, and the State of California for violation of the Information Practices Act. Mr. Benson was unable to prevail on either of these claims, for reasons that were neither just nor reasonable. The title of my book about Mr. Benson will be, “The Man That Justice Eluded.”