Jury Rejects Wrongful Death Suit Brought By The Family Of Chicago Blues Drummer Fred Grady

A federal court jury yesterday swiftly rejected a wrongful death lawsuit that had been filed by the family of Chicago Blues drummer Fred Grady. After a week long trial, the jury returned its verdict in little over an hour in favor of the City of Chicago and Chicago police officers. Judge Ruben Castillo was the presiding judge in the suit that was heard in the Northern District of Illinois. Grady was involved in a traffic accident on April 8, 2003. He was later arrested and charged with trespassing when he attempted to gain access to his vehicle which had been towed to a private lot. Grady was taken to the police lock-up at 10:30 p.m. He was found dead in his cell at approximately 1:30 a.m. An autopsy conducted by Dr. Eupil Choi of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office revealed that Grady died of coronary heart disease and the cause of death was natural. At trial, attorneys for Grady's estate contended that Grady died as the result of a police beating in his cell. The jury rejected that claim and found in favor of the City and officers. The defendants were represented by Liza Franklin from the  City of Chicago's Corporation Counsel's office. The plaintiffs were represented by Berve Power. Plaintiffs had asked the jury to award them over $40 million dollars in damages.