Re: [infoguys-list] mom doused in gasoline
- I think you should research all the case law regarding both arguments. Then
sheperdise all the cases and find out which one is precedent. Start in your
state, but don't discount cases in other states. I would then research the police
history of unjustified pursuit and get an accident reconstruction
investigator to reexamine the accident. I'd find a lawyer then is experienced in trial
law and is capable of presenting good evidence and citing case law in solid
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- I agree with "kickingit 101" that accidents happen in life. People cannot
continue to sue every time something goes wrong!!
Human beings are just that!! No one has the "correct" remedy for all
situations, and Mom has some blame in this as well. Our current society
seems hell-bent on placing blame somewhere besides where it belongs.
--- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 8:30 AM
Subject: [infoguys-list] mom doused in gasoline
I need your opinions on this very interesting police chase case.
thanks in advance,
3 year old female African Amercian Child in 1998, (is now 9 years old)
lives with MOM and Dad who are unmarried….
Mom is solid citizen w/good work record….
Dad has children from previous relationship and has been in jail for child
support. Works at Burger King when he works.
Domestic argument at home about suspected infidelity at home leads to Dad
dousing Mom with gasoline from a jar and attempting to ignite her with a
that does not work.
Mom leaves home seeks refuge at the next door neighbors. Dad than punches
Mom’s sister who lives with them and removes the Child from her bed, puts
in mom’s SUV and drives off…..approximately 10.00pm
Police come to the home. Send an alert on the radio to look out for Dad and
the Child…multiple Police units search the neighborhood and relatives homes
the area without success in locating.
About 11.30 the SUV is sighted at the cross street about 300 feet from home.
Police give chase but can not find.
A few minutes later a call comes in traced to a phone booth…..Police are
dispatched to search phone booths in the area.
A few minutes later SUV is sighted and 2 officers give chase in residential
Police lose him. (dad)
Then, the SUV is sighted by two other officers who chase him for a mile or
with lights and sirens. Dad looses control at a curve in the road and flips
discharging himself and the Child.
Dad dies but the Child survives with catastrophic brain injuries.
What do you think of Plaintiff's theory/ defense theory of the case:
Plaintiff's attorney will argue:
the Police knew that there was an unrestrained child in the car and should
have terminated the pursuit in accordance with their policies and procedures
when it was clear that Dad was going to run. That they increased the zone of
for the child and that their conduct was negligent.
The defense will argue:
The Police were acting reasonably under the circumstances, that the Dad
posed a treat to the child and that their actions in pursuing the SUV were
appropriate and justified under their policy and procedures.
What do you think?
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- - Original Message -
From: This Person <robbiedog@...>
> I agree with "kickingit 101" that accidents happen in life. People cannotcontinue to sue every time something goes wrong!!
> Our current societyseems hell-bent on placing blame somewhere besides where it belongs.
As one who in less than 10 hours will be putting on a blue uniform and gun
to serve 12 hours on patrol on the violent streets of South Africa, I have
to admit that some of my decisions as a volunteer police officer since 1980,
are delayed or effected by the fact that, these days, if I get it wrong I
could be personally sued.
Litigation is far less common here than in the US but still the result is
that many criminal situations that could otherwise be controlled (perhaps at
risk to someone's 'civil rights') are left untouched - perhaps to escalate
It's impossible to be aware of, never mind able to assess during split
second events, all the outcomes of an action that a police officer has to
This case is typical of a situation that could have gone many ways, some
good, some bad. As an example the suspect could have gone on to mow down
pedestrians. Had the officers backed off he might have killed the child
anyway. Had that happened the same lawyer would today be probably suing the
police for their lack of action. I see no negligence, just tough decisions.
In cases like these the Courts may have to weigh the greater public interest
of maintaining law and order over an accidental tragidy. To allow the police
to be sued simply plays into the hands of the criminals, hamstrings the
police, weakens the rule of law and encourages rapacious lawyers to seek
ever higher unjustified awards.
In my opinion the presence of criminals in our society is the result of
complex events within that society, some of which are diabolical but
statistically predictable arborations of human nature. Rather than sue
police departments, society should have mechanisms to assist the victims of
crime, be that free healthcare, financial assistance a compensation fund or
Obviously I'm biased. I just hope I don't have to make a decision like this
Andy Grudko (British), South Africa
Umkhonomunye abashokobezi baseMzansi
Consulting Investigator - Est. 1981 - ICQ 146498943
Registered as a security service provider by the Private Security Industry
Regulatory Authority, Reg. No. 8642
www.grudko.com , andy@... . (+27 12) 244 0255 - 244 0256 (Fax) - 082
778 6355 (Cell)
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