Defending Police Excessive Force Cases
The United States Supreme Court has held local governments are not liable for their employees' constitutional torts solely because they employ such tortfeasors. Unfortunately from a defense perspective, Iowa's Municipal Tort Claims Act significantly increases the exposure of local governments for constitutional torts committed by their employees, making them liable under a
mere respondeat superior theory. Nonetheless, a proper understanding of the background and purpose of § 1983 and relevant cases can help the practitioner properly analyze any available defenses and understand the intersection of federal and state law in this important area.
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