Osborn Machler: King County Sheriff’s Deputy Action Leads to Another Settlement Involving Excessive Force

Settlements involving Deputy Matthew Paul now total more than $10.4 million, according to court documents

SEATTLE--()--Attorneys from Osborn Machler representing a Seattle resident today announced they have reached a $75,000 settlement with King County regarding Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Paul – the deputy whose alleged actions have resulted in more than $10 million in legal settlement, according to court statements – in another case accusing him of allegedly using excessive force with a man.

“With all of the previously documented instances of Deputy Paul’s excessive use of brute force it is baffling that the Sheriff’s Department has not taken his badge and his gun”

According to court documents, Jeffrey Gold accused Paul of breaking his nose and causing facial lacerations in May 2010 after Paul allegedly tackled Gold and drove him into the ground after Gold recorded Paul and another deputy in the midst of a heated discussion at a Queen Anne bus stop.

Court documents indicate that in January 2011, the county settled with the family of Christopher Harris for $10 million, claiming Matthew Paul was the deputy responsible for leaving Christopher Harris brain-damaged, paralyzed and unable to speak after Paul pushed Harris into a wall.

According to court documents, Jeffrey Gold witnessed Deputy Paul and other officers engaged in an involved conversation with a group of young men at a Seattle bus stop. Gold took out his phone and began taking pictures of the incident when Deputy Paul confronted Gold, tackled him and pushed his face into the ground.

In Washington state it is legal to tape a law-enforcement officer as long as it does not interfere with the officer’s duties. “According to Gold, he was well away from the action and did not hinder the deputies in any way,” said Gold’s attorney, Sim Osborn.

According to Osborn, Gold was arrested for obstruction of justice and placed in King County jail for six hours, but was never charged with any crime.

Furthermore, according to documents filed in court, in September 2012 the county paid $300,000 in sanctions after it was reasonably proved that it withheld documents it was required to turn over in an alleged effort to cover up Deputy Paul’s past use of unnecessary force. The case was re-opened, and the Harris family came to an additional settlement with the county worth $1.478 million, as reported in court.

“With all of the previously documented instances of Deputy Paul’s excessive use of brute force it is baffling that the Sheriff’s Department has not taken his badge and his gun,” said Osborn. “Law enforcement officers are there to protect and serve our community, but Deputy Paul has been nothing but a burden to the community and taxpayers alike.”

About Osborn Machler

The attorneys at Osborn Machler represent plaintiffs in personal injury, products liability, and professional malpractice cases. Osborn Machler is noted for taking difficult cases and successfully taking them to settlement or trial. The firm has extensive experience representing injured persons against federal, state, and local governments. You can learn more about the firm, its cases and expertise at www.osbornmachler.com.


Osborn Machler
Sim Osborn, 206-441-4110
Firmani + Associates Inc.
Mark Firmani, 206-443-9357