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Baltimore to settle lawsuit filed by woman injured by police horse

Baltimore to settle lawsuit filed by woman injured by police horse

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A horse, but not the horse that was included in the lawsuit. (File photo)
(File photo)

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates is scheduled to approve a $50,000 settlement Wednesday with a woman whose foot was crushed by a police horse in 2013.

Crystal Oats was leaving the Paparazzi Nightclub in April 2013 after celebrating a friend’s birthday when an officer told the group to move faster as they crossed the street, according to the complaint.

Police, including the mounted unit, were on patrol ordering people to clear the downtown area to avoid traffic, illegal activity and fights, according to the memorandum about the settlement prepared for the board.

Oats alleges that Officer Janine Gilley, a mounted unit officer, “approached aggressively, grabbed her, and caused (her) to fall,” according to the memo. After Oats fell, Gilley’s horse stepped on her foot and caused a crush fracture.

Gilley denies Oats’ contentions and alleges she was attempting to escort Oats to her vehicle after Oats attempted to grab the horse’s reins, according to the memorandum.

Oats initially filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court in February 2016, alleging battery and excessive force, and the lawsuit was removed to U.S. District Court in Baltimore based on federal constitutional claims in the complaint.

The city law department recommended the settlement because of “conflicting factual issues, given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts, and in consideration of the verified actual injury and subsequent medical treatment.”

Oats is represented by Baltimore solo practitioner Kim D. Parker and Greenbelt solo practitioner Sean R. Day.

The case is Crystal Oats v. Janine L. Gilley, 1:16-cv-01162-JFM.

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