Liz Nichols is the Occupy Portland protester whose image became widely known for being blasted in the face with pepper spray by a Portland police officer in fall 2011. She sued the city for excessive force but lost after a four-day trial in August in U.S. District Court in Portland. She had sought $30,000, noting the excruciating pain of pepper spray in her eyes and throat — and the ensuing nightmares, depression and worsening eczema. But the jury sided with Portland, and so the city was entitled to recover its costs of defending itself. Deputy city attorney David Landrum said he offered to drop the city’s pursuit of costs if Nichols agreed to waive an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He called one of Nichols’ attorneys with the offer. Nichols, 23, is a college student at Portland State University. At the time of her federal trial, she also was working as a janitor. Nichols decided to appeal. So the city sought its payback. On Oct. 18, federal judge Michael Mosman signed off on the $7,116 that Nichols now owes.
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