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Court: Woman Struck by Police Cruiser Can Sue City

Posted May 1, 2007

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— The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday a woman who was injured when she was struck by a Durham police cruiser can sue the city for gross negligence.

Linda Jones filed a lawsuit after she was hit by Officer Joseph Kelly more than six years ago. The case bounced back and forth between the courts.

The appeals court ruled Tuesday Jones can sue because a video of the accident from the officer’s cruiser was lost. However, the court dismissed Jones’ claim that the city violated her constitutional rights.

Most cities are immune from lawsuits when their employees are involved in accidents. It is now up to a lower court to decide if Jones gets any money.


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  • Go_APPS May 1, 2007

    I am curious why it has not been reported in any of the 3 stories listed concerning this incident that the lady has already received $150K from the city of Durham. Was that not enough to cover her medical expenses??

  • anonemoose May 1, 2007

    Sir, most large cities are "self insured" as opposed to paying for insurance as we do. As for WRAL, where is the coverage of the Supreme Court decision allowing officers to use tactics that may result in the offenders death to stop high speed chases? Whats the matter? Can't cover anything good for the Po-Po? Also, how about any coverage of House Bill 90, the Law Enforcement Discipline Act? You like reporting when you think the Po-Po has messed up, now how about reporting on protections for the officers trying to do their jobs?

  • Go_APPS May 1, 2007

    In today's society of people not having to take responsibility for their own actions - stupid, intentional, or not- why shouldn't she sue. It can't POSSIBLY be HER fault for stepping out into the street, outside of the designated crosswalk(ie:jaywalking)and into the path of traffic, which happened to include a police vehicle that was running with lights AND siren down the street.... Surely NONE of that could be her fault.

  • Munchie May 1, 2007

    I wonder if the 'lost' video will prove that the officer was at fault. Pay her medical bills...that is all she's asking for.

  • isabella731 May 1, 2007

    At the rate they hit and kill people?? What a moronic thing to say. I'd agree with the Rev and ask for statistics to back that up. Yes, the woman should be compensated for her medical expenses, but anything else is just going to make the city even more of a target for this sort of thing.

  • yacs May 1, 2007

    Why didn't the insurance on the cruiser pay for her medical bills? Don't police cruisers carry liability insurance?

  • blindjustice07 May 1, 2007

    Granted, I would have to wonder if this person was blind, deaf or both, as it is very difficult to miss the sound of a siren and all of those flashing lights coming otherwise. However, I see no reason why the lady should not be compensated for her medical costs. Beyond medical costs though, that would be a different story.I cannot agree with anything beyond the exact amount of medical costs being paid. We do have to be aware, that the same people complaining about this incident occurring will be complaining later when they need emergency assistance and it takes the officer too long to get there. You see, if he/she has to slow down, because the "right of way" given by law to the lights and siren is no longer observed by anyone, then it will take that much longer to get to the site of the emergency. Everyone, not just the authorities needs to be held accountable for their behavior, we should all be expected to carry ourselves as responsible adults.

  • gman976 May 1, 2007

    Does it seem funny to any one else that the video was "lost"?
    I wonder what was on that tape that made it want to "wander" in the first place...

  • terriersrfun May 1, 2007

    Not siding with the cops, nor faulting a legitimate problem, but "permanently disabled" is a broad description. In some of the "permanently disabled" cases I have read about, the victim is less disabled than I am. Permanent disability also does not necessarily mean disabled for life. It covers cases that are expected to last at least 12 months. More info is needed.

  • spiritwarriorwoman May 1, 2007

    Folks whose lives are detrimentally affected through the use or misuse of government vehicles should be compensated for medical bills and for the percentage of detriment caused. PERIOD!!!

    Why should anyone be out-of-pocket for an injury caused by another, regardless of who that other person works for or with???

    Praying for justice for this woman.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB