Family of Man Killed in Car Accident Involving High-Speed Police Chase Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Oakland PD
The family of a man allegedly killed in a high-speed police chase has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Oakland P.D. in federal court, according to a recent news article. The incident begs the question: should police have been pursuing the vehicle at high speed on public roadways? According to the plaintiffs, the pursuit was illegal and against department policy on high-speed chases. The family is seeking financial damages and hopes to hold the police department accountable for its actions.
The deceased and several of his family members were parked on International Boulevard on June 25, 2022. Police were chasing a vehicle operated by a 19-year-old man who crashed into the decedent’s vehicle, causing his death. The 19-year-old was fleeing police in a high-speed chase. The plaintiffs contend that the police should not have pursued the vehicle due to the high-risk that it posed to other drivers and pedestrians.
Most police departments have policies regarding high-speed chases and when to cut off pursuit. In these cases, the police don’t want to risk the lives of the public by pursuing a vehicle that is out of control.
Police don’t turn on emergency lights during pursuit
The police are alleged to have pursued the 19-year-old without turning on their emergency lights. When a police officer turns on their emergency lights, it triggers the dashcam to go on. In this case, it would have recorded the incident. It would have also alerted a supervising officer who would have been tasked with either allowing the pursuit to continue or cancel the pursuit. It also alerts other drivers on the road to stop driving.
Sovereign immunity in police accident injury claims
Sovereign immunity is a doctrine that all 50 states employ. It prevents public entities from being held liable for ordinary negligence claims and restricts the amount of money a plaintiff is able to recover in such claims. In California, public entities are not allowed to be sued for negligence so long as they are fulfilling their duties under the law. This includes police officers. However, the plaintiffs are making specific allegations in this case. They are claiming that police officers violated the law and their own policy in pursuit of this particular vehicle on this particular day. That allegation would allow the lawsuit to move forward in the courts because the officers were not fulfilling their duties as public servants but in violation of those duties when the accident occurred. They are essentially blamed for flushing the driver into the parked vehicle and causing the death of a 27-year-old man.
Talk to an Oakland, CA Personal Injury Attorney Today
The Oakland personal injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada represent the interests of those who are injured by negligence. You can call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can help you recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.