LOS ANGELES – A former banker and movie executive who said police beat him with batons in a bizarre street confrontation lost his $20 million excessive force claim on Friday against the Los Angeles Police Department.
A jury returned the verdict after hearing testimony from Brian Mulligan and the two officers who said they restrained but did not beat him. Mulligan acknowledged using a drug known as bath salts in the weeks leading up to the incident.
Mulligan said he was driven to the drug to deal with sleeping problems but denied the substance made him paranoid during the May 2012 confrontation with officers.
The officers painted a portrait of an uncontrollable man frothing at the mouth. They denied beating him with batons.
"This guy had gone crazy," Officer John Miller testified during the trial. "He'd lost his marbles. I was a bit scared. I'd never seen anybody frothing at the mouth and growling as an adult human being."
He and Officer James Nichols took the stand after lengthy testimony from Mulligan, whose excessive-force suit claims he suffered a broken nose and shoulder and other injuries along with mental torture from an unprovoked beating.
The one-time Deutsche Bank official said he had used the drug at least 20 times — but not on the night of the encounter.
Nichols, however, said Mulligan told him he had taken a type of bath salts called "White Lightning" four days earlier and hadn't slept since. He painted a portrait of a delusional man who was spotted wandering the street with wads of crumpled $100 bills falling out of his pockets.
The case played out against a backdrop of horrifying photos of Mulligan's smashed nose and face. He said he suffered multiple fractures of the nose and lost his sense of smell. He said he still suffers panic and flashbacks to the incident. An expert witness testified the injuries clearly were inflicted by a baton.
Mulligan lost his job with the bank over the incident that was highly publicized. He also had been co-chairman of Universal Pictures and chief financial officer with Seagrams Co.
A civilian oversight board found the officers' use of force to be appropriate, and a claim against the city over his lost bank job was dismissed.