ORLANDO, FLA.—The city of Orlando has offered to settle the lawsuit filed against it by a man who was arrested by a city cop when she mistook doughnut glaze for meth.
Daniel Rushing was jailed Dec. 11, 2015, after Cpl. Shelby Riggs Hopkins spotted small white crumbs of Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze on the floor of his car, tested it and concluded it was either amphetamine or methamphetamine.
A state crime lab later confirmed that it was not an illegal substance.
The city made a written settlement offer two weeks ago, according to court records. Martha Lee Lombardy, the lawyer representing the city, would not comment Tuesday, but Rushing has said the city earlier offered him $20,000.
He filed suit against the city and Safariland LLC., the Jacksonville company that manufactured the road-side test kit Riggs Hopkins used.
At a hearing in Orlando on Tuesday, Circuit Judge Keith White granted Safariland’s motion to dismiss a portion of the suit. Rushing’s attorney, William Ruffier, alleged that his client was the victim of a defective product — the Safariland kit. It is sold under the brand name NIK.
Safariland attorney George Brock Magruder III argued, “This isn’t a standard product liability case.”
The judge agreed and ruled that Rushing suffered no physical injury so he tossed out that count. He also ruled that Ruffier may reframe that claim and file it again, something Ruffier said he would do.
The count against the city remains.
The Orlando Police Department conducted an internal affairs investigation and concluded that Riggs Hopkins had never been formally trained on how to use Safariland’s kits, and neither had anyone else in the agency.
Chief John Mina in September ordered mandatory training on how to use the kit for every sworn officer with the agency.
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