A jury trial date of June 10, 2014, has been set in Jerry T. Coble Sr. vs. Curtis Carney Jr., dating back to an April 6, 2007 in an incident in which Coble alleged he was a victim of police brutality and false arrest.
City Administrator Gerald Herman has declined to discuss the case; however, a copy of the complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, on March 27, 2008, details Coble’s complaint and what he alleges happened on April 6, 2007.
For the purpose of clarification, Carney is identified as an officer of the White House Police Department at that time.
The complaint originally named the City of White House and Officer Scott Bilbrey as co-defendants, but those claims were dismissed by the court, leaving Carney the sole defendant in the case.
Coble alleges in his formal complaint that on April 6, 2007, he attended a birthday party at Bob & Rhonda’s Sports Grill, located at 2934 Highway 31 in White House and admits he had consumed one or more beers before leaving at approximately 9:30 p.m. to drive home.
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Living approximately two and one-half miles from the bar at 3726 Highway 31W, he drove home, turned off his pickup truck, and was walking toward his home when he noticed a police car, operated by Carney, behind him with its emergency lights on.
Carney reportedly questioned Coble about his whereabouts and his consumption of alcohol, accusing him of “weaving” on the highway. Coble denied weaving and asked Carney to leave his property as it was outside city limits. Coble alleges he was not physically aggressive.
Proceeding to walk toward his home, Coble was sprayed with mace in the face. It was at that time that Bilbrey reportedly arrived on scene and also sprayed Coble with mace and the two officers were able to get Coble on the ground and handcuffed, according to the original complaint.
During the scuffle, Coble was allegedly kicked in “his right lower leg with such a degree of force that it completely shattered and broke into the tibia and fibula.” Coble was then moved and dropped face down on the concrete driveway, resulting in additional injuries.
Coble’s injuries were so severe that he was transported via Life Flight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he required surgery to insert approximately nine screws and a large metal plate into his lower right leg, resulting in permanent and disabling injury.
Kathleen Neal was named administrator ad litem in August 2011 to represent the estate of Jerry T. Coble, who died May 4, 2011. The law office of David L. Cooper continues to represent Coble’s interest in this case. Coble’s case alleges that the actions committed by Carney represented excessive use of force, false arrest, and failure to implement appropriate policies as to the excessive use of force.
Coble/Neal is suing Carney for $300,000, as well as punitive damages, to be determined at trial, and costs (including attorney’s fees, expert fees, and discretionary costs).
The trial begins at 9 a.m. on June 10. A pretrial conference will be held on May 22.
Attempts to reach Kathleen Neal for comment were unsuccessful by this publication’s deadline.