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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Law enforcement listed as co-defendant in wrongful death lawsuit

Many of the wrongful death cases filed in Bozeman and throughout the rest of the U.S. typically involve some form of recklessness. Yet in certain cases, some may argue that the conditions that contributed to one’s death may have resulted from another doing something that, by legal standards, he or she had the right to do. This may prompt the question of when does common sense supersede the perceived duty that one may have to the law and/or to his or her community.

Such is the issue being argued in a case involving the death of a woman in Illinois. The woman was killed after her car was struck by another driver who had been fleeing from police. According to reports, the chase had lasted only a couple of minutes, and the officer involved had even disengaged from it right before the collision occurred. Although the reason why law enforcement had been pursuing the driver was not released, some infer that it was simply due to a moving violation.

As a result of this incident, the family of the victim has filed a lawsuit against the driver. Also listed in the lawsuit, however, are the officer who had pursued her and the county. A representative for the family has argued that initiating the chase needlessly endangered the victim’s life. Sheriff’s officials have countered, however, saying that the officer involved did nothing wrong and is not facing discipline.

Successfully arguing that law enforcement officials should exercise discretion in the application of the law may be difficult. Yet if one believes that needs to be done for the safety of the community, he or she may feel compelled to make such an argument. An experienced attorney may prove to be a valuable ally when trying to make such a case.

Source: WIFR “Wrongful death lawsuit filed against county after deadly crash” Aug. 18, 2016 

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