A man who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit after being paralyzed in a controversial shooting by a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has died, his attorney said Thursday.
Stephens became paralyzed from the waist down after getting shot by Deputy Adams Lin in 2013, who pursued Stephens for cutting across traffic on his bike.
Lin told jurors during the trial he thought Stephens reached for a gun before he fired his service weapon. Stephens said he had his hands up at the time of the shooting. Stephens had a cellphone in his hand.
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Stephens won a $22.5 million award only to have it overturned on appeal. The Florida House later voted to award Stephens $6 million. Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed and signed off on the measure in June 2020.
Stephens had been hospitalized for three weeks because of a series of infections arising from from his paralysis, said his attorney Jack Scarola.
“I am very saddened by Dontrell’s death,” Scarola said. “He had a very difficult life that was made even far more difficult by the tragically unjustified paralysis. I hope that he did have at least some comfort derived by the modest compensation that he received from the claims bill, but it clearly wasn’t sufficient to provide for the care he needed.”
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