Scales of Justice

By Wes Woods, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/17/13, 2:05 PM PDT |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A jury ruled in favor of Inland Empire marijuana activist Lanny Swerdlow on Wednesday in his civil trial against anti-drug foe Paul Chabot with a final financial amount pending based on punitive damages.

Jurors will be back in West Valley Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. today to determine punitive damages against Chabot, said Judge Joseph Brisco to Swerdlow, who is representing himself, and Chabot’s attorney Andrew Haynal in court before court was dismissed.

Swerdlow is seeking punitive damages of $1 million after a 2007 incident at a Rancho Cucamonga meeting where he alleged false arrest and malicious prosecution.

The jury on Wednesday found for the false arrest but not for the malicious prosecution and ruled for $5,000 for past economic and non-economic losses. Jurors will meet again to determine punitive damages.

Chabot had filed a counter-suit claiming Swerdlow battered him, which the activist denied, and asked for attorney fees but the jury denied his request.

Brisco said that Swerdlow today will be able to question Chabot about his finances and the jury can “punish” Chabot or not based on the testimony.

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