On August 1, 2016, NSB and cocounsel Lathrop & Gage procured a monumental 16.5 million dollar settlement, with an additional 4 million dollars pending the resolution of appeal, for the families of Larry Ruffin, Bobby Ray Dixon, and Phillip Bivens. Mr. Ruffin, Mr. Dixon and Mr. Bivens collectively served 83 years in prison for crimes they did not commit until cleared by DNA evidence.
In 1979, the lone witness to a rape and murder informed law enforcement that there was only one perpetrator responsible. Although the witness’s statement was consistent with the physical evidence, Defendants Forrest County, Mississippi and the City of Hattiesburg used extreme violence and racially-charged threats to arrest and convict three innocent African-American men. As a result of the Defendants’ acts, the real perpetrator was never tried and both Mr. Ruffin and Mr. Dixon died in prison before they could prove their innocence.
NSB’s successful pre-trial motion practice and extensive discovery was critical to obtaining this settlement and resolving the case.
NSB Partners Nick Brustin and Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann, along with NSB Fellow Danielle Hamilton, represented the families of Larry Ruffin, Bobby Ray Dixon, and Phillip Bivens.