Disney employee files $20M lawsuit against L.A. Police Department for 'overly hostile' encounter

FILE - A hybrid police car is seen at the unveiling of two new Ford Fusion hybrid pursuit-rated Police Responder cars at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on April 10, 2017 in Los Angeles.
FILE PHOTO. Photo credit David McNew/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (KNX) — In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a former Grey's Anatomy production worker sued the Los Angeles Police Department for $20 million, alleging that officers put him in an "overly hostile" and "extraordinarily dangerous" situation.

The Walt Disney Co. employee filed the lawsuit in a California federal court, according to the Hollywood Reporter (THR), which reported that the man filing the suit is named Ernest Simon, Jr.

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In the suit, Simon, Jr. alleges that his March 18, 2021 traffic stop was an instance of racial profiling, in which the officers arrested him despite being told by others that he was an employee of the Grey's Anatomy production.

In the suit obtained by THR, Simon, Jr. alleges that he was first spotted while driving a company van to the production site, and that officers proceeded to follow him onto the lot after employees at the gate confirmed his statements of working for the production.

He also said he was held down for roughly 20 minutes with officers' guns pointed at him, leading him to fear for his life.

"We filed a formal request then with the LAPD for an immediate investigation into this matter and for the appropriate action to be taken promptly," ABC Signature, which produces the hit television show, said in a statement to THR.

"We were disappointed to learn that no action was taken and support Mr. Simon in his complaint."

Simon, Jr. is seeking the $20 million to cover damages, including "injury to person, emotional distress, medical expenses and loss of reputation," according to lawsuit documents, which also lists attorneys' fees and costs as part of what Simon, Jr. must cover as he proceeds with the case against LAPD.

A representative for the police department said it could not comment on the case.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images