Mum's Morris: "It's the City (Hall) That Lost...I'll Go Another Round"
(July 3, 2003, posted 7:40 p.m.) -- Responding to a Superior Court ruling that reduced his civil jury verdict against LB City Hall from $425,000 to $1, requiring him to prove he incurred any additional actual damages for violation of his 1st amendment rights by City Hall to recover anything further, an enthusiastic sounding John Morris, owner of Mum's on Pine Ave., told LBReport.com:
"It's the City [Hall] that lost. The Court upheld the judgment against them [City Hall]. I've said all along since the verdict came out, I'm along for the ride. To me this is just another chapter. I have another round to go. The Court upheld the judgment against them. The Court ruled that the city [City Hall] was guilty [civilly liable for violationg Morris' 1st amendment rights]. The Court reduced the damages from $425,000 to $1, but they never heard what our full losses were because we couldn't present those because the city blocked that. So to me, the judge has now said: let the jury decide what the damages should be. I'll go another round. The victory is still ours. They cannot take that victory away."
As reported first by LBReport.com earlier today, the Court allowed the verdict against the City of Long Beach (for violating Mr. Morris' first amendment rights) to stand, but reduced Mr. Morris' damages to a nominal amount ($1)...giving him the option of seeking a new trial on the issue of damages or accepting the $1.
The Court also vacated (tossed out) the judgment against Mr. Taboada in its entirety (eliminating actual and punitive damages against Mr. Taboada personally).
John Morris Verdict Reversal Of Fortune: Trial Court Vacates (Tosses Out) Judgment Against Former City Mgr. Taboada, Reduces Damages Against City Hall to $1, Giving Morris Option Of New Trial On Damages