Thanks to sfist for pointing out this tidbit from the SF Chronicle's latest installment on police brutality: (bold is mine)
In the end, San Francisco taxpayers would pay the Duthie family, Garrity and their lawyers $175,000 to settle their lawsuit. Part of what gave the suit power, Duthie attorney Matt Kumin said, was that "Alison was what we call 'an eggshell plaintiff' -- she arrived at the incident with her pre-existing back condition."
Sean Connolly, a deputy city attorney who handled the case, pointed to another factor affecting the March 2003 settlement. "Most plaintiffs who sue the cops come out of a world that usually deals with cops,'' Connolly said. "These were good-looking, middle-class folk, articulate. Two of them were models.
"You always have to assess the credibility of the witnesses and how a jury will see their testimony,'' Connolly said. "This was not a run-of-the-mill case.''