A Lexington man has sued the city of Lexington and the University of Kentucky, alleging that a UK police officer and a city police officer used excessive force against him and violated his federal constitutional rights during a traffic stop last year.
Christian Durmov initially filed suit in Fayette Circuit Court last month, naming as defendants the city, the university, UK police officer David Duncan and Lexington police officer Anthony Bottoms.
Bottoms and Duncan are being sued individually and in their official capacities as officers.
The lawsuit was transferred to U.S. District Court in Lexington earlier this week. UK filed a motion with the court Friday, asking that it be dismissed from the suit and that most of the allegations against Duncan be dismissed.
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In addition to alleging constitutional rights violations, Durmov claims in the lawsuit that he suffered physical injury, pain, anguish of mind, embarrassment and humiliation as a result of the traffic stop. He is seeking unspecified compensatory damages and has asked for a jury trial.
UK and the city declined comment Friday.
Durmov states in the lawsuit that he was riding in a vehicle on Virginia Avenue on July 30, 2011, when it was pulled over by Bottoms. Duncan then arrived on the scene, the suit says.
According to the suit, Duncan approached the passenger side of the vehicle and "used excessive force to remove the plaintiff."
"The plaintiff was thrown to the ground by the defendant Duncan and was later handcuffed by defendants Duncan and Bottoms," the suit says.
Durmov was arrested and charged with alcohol intoxication, according to the suit, and later entered a plea of not guilty in Fayette District Court.
He was acquitted Nov. 30 after a jury trial before Fayette District Judge Joseph Bouvier, the suit says.
Durmov alleges that Bottoms and Duncan committed assault and battery against him in an "excessive and unnecessary use of force," and acted negligently and recklessly.
Durmov further alleges that his rights under the U.S. Constitution were violated, including his right to due process and his Fourth Amendment right "to be free from unwarranted search and seizure."
He argues that the alleged actions by the police officers "resulted from the carelessness and negligence of defendant Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and University of Kentucky ... in hiring and failing to properly train defendant Bottoms and defendant Duncan."
In its motion Friday, UK argued that it should be dismissed under the legal principle of sovereign immunity, which generally shields the university from lawsuits. The motion also argues that the one-year statute of limitations in the case has expired.
UK also argued that most of the counts against Duncan in his individual capacity should be dismissed "for failure to state a claim," except for the assault and battery allegation and the claim of a Fourth Amendment violation.