Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-05-2006, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
will always be an Alyson Hanniganite
 
Bill O'Rights's Avatar
 
Location: In the dust of the archives
Court holds cities liable in police-chase crashes

LINK
Quote:
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Supreme Court said Friday that cities can be held responsible for injuries to people hurt by a suspect fleeing a high-speed police chase - even after the pursuit has ended.

The high court ruled in a case in which the city of Omaha was ordered to pay $1.5 million to two men seriously injured after a police chase in 2000.

Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon rejected the city's argument that it should not have been held liable for the men's injuries because the officer had already backed off the chase when the crash happened.

Nebraska cities are liable under state law for injuries to innocent people in crashes that stem from police chases.

Bataillon originally set the amount of damages for one of the men at $2.9 million, but ruled that state law caps liability for cities at $1 million.

The city was ordered to pay $1 million to Jimmie Joe Staley and $500,000 to Joshua McGrath for injuries they suffered when their truck burst into flames after being hit by a car fleeing police.

Staley sustained lung damage and severe burns on two-thirds of his body. McGrath suffered a broken pelvis, a broken facial bone, and burns on one-third of his body.

The city had argued that it should not have been held responsible because the police officer had called off the pursuit a half-mile before the crash.

Bataillon rejected that argument. The driver of the fleeing car, Michael Barnes, testified that he couldn't tell whether the cruiser was still behind him because he was going down hill. The crash happened 20 to 30 seconds after the officer called off the chase.

"He testified that he still felt as though the police cruiser was right behind him and that he was still being pursued," said McGrath's lawyer, Terry Sibbernsen, in briefs submitted to the high court.

The chase began on April 14, 2000, when Sgt. Preston Sears saw Barnes skid into an intersection on a red light, back up and then drive through the intersection on a green light.

When Sears tried to pull over Barnes' car, Barnes sped off, beginning a chase that lasted several blocks.
A.) I hold that it should be the pursuee should be held liable...not the pursuer.

B.) So...now the city (read Police Department) is to be held liable for injury sustained not only during the commision of a pursuit...but now after a pursuit has been terminated.
In effect then, all one has to do is accelerate, at the first sign of rotating/flashing red lights in ones rear view mirror, and the judicious police officer will immediately break off pursuit...before it even really happens.

C.) The lunatics truly are now running the asylum.
__________________
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

"Hedonism with rules isn't hedonism at all, it's the Republican party." - JumpinJesus

It is indisputable that true beauty lies within...but a nice rack sure doesn't hurt.
Bill O'Rights is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
LINK


A.) I hold that it should be the pursuee should be held liable...not the pursuer.

B.) So...now the city (read Police Department) is to be held liable for injury sustained not only during the commision of a pursuit...but now after a pursuit has been terminated.
In effect then, all one has to do is accelerate, at the first sign of rotating/flashing red lights in ones rear view mirror, and the judicious police officer will immediately break off pursuit...before it even really happens.

C.) The lunatics truly are now running the asylum.
Well, as to A) they can hold both liable, especially if the cops are pursuing some penniless crack addict. It's not likethe guy who got hit is gonna collect any money from the suspects in that case.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I tend to be against high speed chases, and thus support rulings that will put liability on those involved in the accidents harming others. Thus, I also support this ruling.

And to quote this instance:

Quote:
The chase began on April 14, 2000, when Sgt. Preston Sears saw Barnes skid into an intersection on a red light, back up and then drive through the intersection on a green light.
Is a high speed chase that is going to put outside lives at risk necessary here?

The guy ran a red light, backed up, and then went when it was green. Did he break the law? Certainly. Was this a violation worthy of a high speed pursuit? Not in my mind. Write down his plates, find out where he lives, and pursue the issue from there.

There are special cases where high speed chases are necessary and valid. This is by no means one of those instances.

The lives of two innocent bystanders were dramatically changed, at the cost of what? A $75 moving violation? Why shouldn't those that caused this be held liable?
__________________
Desperation is no excuse for lowering one's standards.

Last edited by Jimellow; 05-05-2006 at 10:46 AM..
Jimellow is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
In my opinion, both personally and professionally as someone who deals in high risk casualty insurance (which would include this kind of claim), I think that the court has it right. The cops may have terminated the chase, but unless the pursuee had a police scanner in his car, he had no way of knowing that. 20-30 seconds is not enough time to come to the conclusion that the chase has ended and you can slow down. The police were the proximate cause of the chase, and although the pursuee certainly has a considerable share of the liability here, the police also have their own share. That's called contributory negligence, and in cases like this, someone has to pay the injured parties. It's too bad that the guy who ran from the cops wasn't a millionaire or insured up the wazoo, but the court had to look for the deep pockets to make sure that the injured parties aren't going to be destitute.

There are lots of times where someone does nothing wrong and their insurance company ends up paying for someone else's mistakes. It's the American Way.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
Hmm I have mixed feelings about this. Police pursuits should only be initiated when there is justifiable reason to, read: immediate and non trivial danger to the general public resulting from the suspect escaping.

However, police officers have the choice to end the pursuit at any time, as this officer did. Now, the question is simply the one that the court decided: Did the initiation of the police pursuit lead to the accident/injuries that occurred? 20/30 seconds isn't enough time to properly cool, especially when the police have been chasing you and you have no idea if they still are.

The general rule of thumb with police is, if it's not an immediate serious threat, let them go. Get a liscence plate, even perhaps call in arial support (helicopters), if available.

The fact is that police accountability is becoming a huge issue.

Quote:
The chase began on April 14, 2000, when Sgt. Preston Sears saw Barnes skid into an intersection on a red light, back up and then drive through the intersection on a green light.
Ridiculous... no police officer should initiate a high speed pursuit under those circumstances. Obviously I don't have all the facts, but from that it sounds like a completely unjustifiable police pursuit. The police department deserves the wrath of the public and judicial system for putting the public at risk for such trivial circumstances.
__________________
Feh.

Last edited by Ace_O_Spades; 05-05-2006 at 10:48 AM..
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
Pissing in the cornflakes
 
Ustwo's Avatar
 
I'll say it in more clear language than Bill.

This is fucking stupid, it is basically a ruling that says 'run from the police, they can't catch you.'
__________________
Agents of the enemies who hold office in our own government, who attempt to eliminate our "freedoms" and our "right to know" are posting among us, I fear.....on this very forum. - host

Obama - Know a Man by the friends he keeps.
Ustwo is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
OR it says "Don't initiate proceedings that are likely to cause serious threat of injury to innocent people who have nothing to do with it"
__________________
Feh.
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
Lover - Protector - Teacher
 
Jinn's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle, WA
How the heck is it the cop's fault?

I see a lot of faulty logic -- the guy running isn't at fault, because the police caused it by chasing him. What? No.

It's the scumbag's fault for RUNNING. He made.. get this.. a CHOICE.. to run away. Whether he made the decision with regards to whether it would endanger people or not, he's the one who CAUSED the accident. He RAN. The police were doing their damned job, he decided to escalate it and potentially hurt people in his foolish flee.
__________________
"I'm typing on a computer of science, which is being sent by science wires to a little science server where you can access it. I'm not typing on a computer of philosophy or religion or whatever other thing you think can be used to understand the universe because they're a poor substitute in the role of understanding the universe which exists independent from ourselves." - Willravel
Jinn is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
Lover - Protector - Teacher
 
Jinn's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle, WA
Quote:
"Don't initiate proceedings that are likely to cause serious threat of injury to innocent people who have nothing to do with it"
This CRIMINAL was the first person to "initiate proceedings which were likely to cause serious threat of injury to innocent people." He skidded through a light, which means that he was either (a) driving too fast or (b) not paying attention. Both of these when driving a 1500 lb piece of death metal are a bad thing, and the police officer was in the right to stop him and let him know that he was doing something that could hurt people, and penalize him. This ideally prevents him from doing it again, and keeps .. US SAFER. Should he not do this because a scumbag criminal decides he doesn't want to handle the responsibility for driving recklessly and tries to get away? No.

HIS CHOICE TO RUN caused the accident, not the police's choice to pursue.
__________________
"I'm typing on a computer of science, which is being sent by science wires to a little science server where you can access it. I'm not typing on a computer of philosophy or religion or whatever other thing you think can be used to understand the universe because they're a poor substitute in the role of understanding the universe which exists independent from ourselves." - Willravel
Jinn is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
I don't get this ruling at all. If the police witness you violating a traffic law they usually come up behind you and turn on the lights or siren to pull you over. If I understand this ruling then if you take off like a bat out of hell and hit someone then the police are liable. After all the officer has to pursue you in order to first try to give you the ticket.

All the traffic violator has to say is "I didn't know he wasn't pursuing me, he pulled up behind me very fast and flashed his lights and siren so I took off".
flstf is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
I think you folks are missing the courts point here - it doesn't matter that the cops broke off the chase 20-30 prior to the collision. What matters is that there are two guys injured by the pursuee, who has no insurance or assets to pay for the damage that he's caused. He's going to be in jail for the next few years and unable to pay the medical bills for the injuries he's caused. The people of Nebraska have decided that accidents resulting from a pursuit are at least partially the fault of the pursuing police agency (which is most definitely not the case in the rest of the country).

Let's put it in these terms - your brother and his friend are injured in similar pursuit with similar injuries. These are both young guys without families but with lower paying jobs. They have health insurance but it only pays up to $250,000 in benefits and then stops (not that uncommon), which each of them blow through in the first 2 weeks in the hospital. Because of the extensive burns, they have to be in rehab hospitals for months and they won't be back at work for at least a year, if they can ever go back at all. After a year the medical bills are $750,000 apiece, which leaves $500,000 unpaid. From what I gather, the feeling on this thread is that the two injured guys are just screwed and have to pay the difference themselves, even though there's a clear mechanism to collect, and the pursuee freely admits that he thought that he was still being pursued. Given that one of the injured guys is your brother, how do you feel about it now? Still think that the city shouldn't pay? Or are you still standing by your guns and basically saying that your brother (and most likely your folks since they're good people) are going to be destitute because of the medical bills?

These are the questions that I deal with all day, every day. If you agree with the last question, I have a list of insurance defense attorneys that want you on their jury since you're the exception to a hard-and-fast rule.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
Crazy
 
What about people who just run at the first sign of flashing lights and get into accidents without the police actually pursuing them? Should the police be held liable then too? Couldn't the person who ran argue that they didn't know the police weren't chasing them?

This is a stupid ruling that punishes police for doing their job. The police shouldn't be held responsible for some asshole deciding that he'd rather endanger the people around him than get a ticket. I understand wanting to make sure that victims are taken care of, but that doesn't change where the responsibility lies for injuries caused by running from the police.
Da Munk is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 12:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
JinnKai, you're forgetting something. The officer also has a very important CHOICE as to whether to initiate a chase. Not all offenses warrant a high speed pursuit. It's just not safe.

In Canada, the courts have ruled that the police DO INDEED have a CHOICE as to whether to pursue or not. For the reasons you state...

The police have the safety of the public as one of their primary mandates. A car, while travelling 90+ KpH is a missile of death in the wrong hands. This choice is based upon perceived threat. For instance: Is it better to let one guy who runs a red light get away, or pursue him through busy urban streets and put the lives of innocent bystanders at risk.

The Crown has precedent of laying criminal proceedings against police officers who initiate high speed pursuits without grounds, and in doing so cause the death of innocent bystanders.

It's seen as a partial joint responsibility. Is it fair? I think so. It's just as easy to get a liscence number and pursue ALTERNATE means for conflict resolution that don't involve threat of grievous bodily harm to innocent people.
__________________
Feh.
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 01:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_O_Spades
JinnKai, you're forgetting something. The officer also has a very important CHOICE as to whether to initiate a chase. Not all offenses warrant a high speed pursuit. It's just not safe.

In Canada, the courts have ruled that the police DO INDEED have a CHOICE as to whether to pursue or not. For the reasons you state...
Exactly - there is a time to chase and a time not to. If a guy just walked into the local bar and gunned down a couple of people, they'll chase and keep chasing. If the guy committed a minor infraction, they call it off once the speeds get too dangerous.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 01:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
Adequate
 
cyrnel's Avatar
 
Location: In my angry-dome.
I know emotions and adrenaline mess with people, including the professionals, and their judgement needs boundaries. It isn't as if they should never chase for fear of escalating the situation, but nor should they always chase.

Jazz, your explanation hit my gut feeling that escalating a minor offense into a chase means a negative result for innocent bystanders. I don't have any stats but would say almost any screwed bystanders warrants minimizing these chases.

Anyway, I'm betting the policy makers don't mind this ruling at all. Police might mind, even the middle command who surely don't want to lose their tools, but those above will see it as ammo to help justify increased surveillance systems. Track offenders without chases. It could also put more wind in the sails of mandatory GPS vehicle tracking. Increased monitoring, citing, revenue, etc. JAZZ, if you can speak to it, what's your company's thinking in this area? (inside vs. public?)
__________________
There are a vast number of people who are uninformed and heavily propagandized, but fundamentally decent. The propaganda that inundates them is effective when unchallenged, but much of it goes only skin deep. If they can be brought to raise questions and apply their decent instincts and basic intelligence, many people quickly escape the confines of the doctrinal system and are willing to do something to help others who are really suffering and oppressed." -Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, p. 195
cyrnel is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 01:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by highthief
Exactly - there is a time to chase and a time not to. If a guy just walked into the local bar and gunned down a couple of people, they'll chase and keep chasing. If the guy committed a minor infraction, they call it off once the speeds get too dangerous.
If I understand the OP that is what happened here, the officer called off the chase. It apparently made no difference in the court's ruling. I guess his mistake was to try and catch up to the driver so he could give him a ticket in the first place.
flstf is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 02:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Anyway, I'm betting the policy makers don't mind this ruling at all. Police might mind, even the middle command who surely don't want to lose their tools, but those above will see it as ammo to help justify increased surveillance systems. Track offenders without chases. It could also put more wind in the sails of mandatory GPS vehicle tracking. Increased monitoring, citing, revenue, etc. JAZZ, if you can speak to it, what's your company's thinking in this area? (inside vs. public?)
OK, first of all I'm a broker, so my company (at least with this kind of thing) takes on none of the risk but finds companies that are willing to. That said, I can tell you that it will make some insurance companies very nervous about writing what is referred to as "public entity" business in Nebraska. In reality, that means that the rates will be slightly higher so the City of Omaha will end up paying a few thousand dollars more for their insurance than they would otherwise.

Make no mistake about it - this is being paid by an insurance company in one way or another. I have no first hand knowledge of Omaha's insurance program (although I could probably find out), but at a minimum an insurance company will be paying $500,000 of the $1,500,000 payment. It's very rare to find a city of Omaha's size self-insuring more than $1,000,000 of their auto coverage, and I'm making an educated guess that they're probably self-insuring more like the first $100,000. It would save them a lot of money. So that means that of this $1,500,000 judgement, the city will most likely be responsible for the first $100,000, not the whole thing. The individual policemen would be covered by that insurance for any civil wrongdoing (as opposed to criminal) that the court found, and the insurance companies would have covered them.

Just to make every one feel all nice and safe in their nests, I did a quick check and as best I can tell, only 5 other states have laws similar to Nebraska's. So if you're in Arizona and a similar thing happens to you, you have no standing sue the state, even if the chase hadn't been called off. Make anyone feel better?

fistf, I think that it's hard to say who's truely at fault here, since it really doesn't matter. I know that's cold, but it's the reality of my world. The cops may have chased this guy for 1/2 mile or 10 miles, but the end result was that he hit the two claimants. The police initiated that chase, so their partially responsible. Since the police and City are the deep pockets, they're going to pay for the claimant's injuries. It's the way it works.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 08:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
I'm not a blonde! I'm knot! I'm knot! I'm knot!
 
raeanna74's Avatar
 
Location: Upper Michigan
Why do they have to pull this shit? Sure, go head, lets put more pain and trouble on our peace keepers. Next thing we know we'll be calling the criminals, heros and peace keepers. How about we just go back to having mob bosses keeping the order around town and milking every last hard working Joe of his money? Might as well if we're gonna try to milk those that we want to watch out for us. Ain't that bitin the hand that feeds you? You'd think people would know better. This sucks.

Oh and btw

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
...The police initiated that chase, so their partially responsible. Since the police and City are the deep pockets, they're going to pay for the claimant's injuries. It's the way it works.
I don't think so. The criminal didn't HAVE to run. They HAD to chase. They didn't initiate. The criminal did. They just followed suit.
__________________
"Always learn the rules so that you can break them properly." Dalai Lama
My Karma just ran over your Dogma.

Last edited by raeanna74; 05-05-2006 at 08:06 PM..
raeanna74 is offline  
Old 05-05-2006, 09:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
MSD's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: CT
Force the criminals to pay for the damage they cause while disrupting peoples' normal lives. Either that or equip police with LAWs and give them clearance to fire on any fleeing vehicle with no hostages and a ten-foot safety zone with no civilians. That'll end this shit really fast and remove the idiots from the gene pool.
MSD is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 01:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
fistf, I think that it's hard to say who's truely at fault here, since it really doesn't matter. I know that's cold, but it's the reality of my world. The cops may have chased this guy for 1/2 mile or 10 miles, but the end result was that he hit the two claimants. The police initiated that chase, so their partially responsible. Since the police and City are the deep pockets, they're going to pay for the claimant's injuries. It's the way it works.
Which of course means that the city's taxpayers pay for these injuries and are the real deep pockets here. As well as taxpayers in other cities when insurance companies raise rates.
flstf is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 02:53 AM   #21 (permalink)
Psycho
 
DJ Happy's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by highthief
Exactly - there is a time to chase and a time not to. If a guy just walked into the local bar and gunned down a couple of people, they'll chase and keep chasing. If the guy committed a minor infraction, they call it off once the speeds get too dangerous.
I would imagine that quite often the person who speeds off when a police officer only wants to give them a ticket for a 'minor infraction' has already done something seriously wrong and really doesn't want to get caught. Ted Bundy anyone?
DJ Happy is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 03:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
I would imagine that quite often the person who speeds off when a police officer only wants to give them a ticket for a 'minor infraction' has already done something seriously wrong and really doesn't want to get caught. Ted Bundy anyone?
I would also imagine the vast and overwhelming majority are not serial killers, like Bundy. Just people who panic because they did something stupid.

Let's turn it around. When is a police officer justified in drawing and firing his weapon? In most jurisdictions, he can only do so when there is a clear and imminent danger to the public - he can't shoot through a crowded shopping mall at a shoplifter.

Here we have a similar situation, only with vehicles (which probably kill more people than firearms every year).

I'm about the biggest supporter of law enforcement you'll find - at least half my friends are cops - but they don't have carte blanche. I think the only thing that is grey with this case is the fact that the officer had called off the chase a few seconds beforehand.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 05:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
Psycho
 
DJ Happy's Avatar
 
I can't imagine people with nothing to hide instinctively trying to outrun a police car because they ran a red light. I'd have to give society credit for having a little more common sense than that.
DJ Happy is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 05:35 AM   #24 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by raeanna74
Why do they have to pull this shit? Sure, go head, lets put more pain and trouble on our peace keepers. Next thing we know we'll be calling the criminals, heros and peace keepers. How about we just go back to having mob bosses keeping the order around town and milking every last hard working Joe of his money? Might as well if we're gonna try to milk those that we want to watch out for us. Ain't that bitin the hand that feeds you? You'd think people would know better. This sucks.
OK, the individual cops aren't paying a dime of this judgement, regardless. They were acting in their official capacity as policemen and should be enjoying the full protection of their department and its insurance.

Who is collecting the $1,500,000? The pursuee? No, it's the innocent guys that he hit. The criminal is not profiting here. The court is making sure that the innocent people injured in this chase aren't going to be destitute because of the accident. Here are the injuries - broken pelvis, broken face burns over 1/3 of the body. Severe lung damage and 3rd degree burns over 2/3 of the body. Not exactly pleasant.

All the court has done is believe the pursuee when he said that he thought he was being chased. The cops had terminated the chase 20-30 seconds earlier, but he didn't know that. For arguement's sake, if the chase had still been on, this thread wouldn't exist because the City would have just paid up. As it is, you've got two INNOCENT people who just happened to be in the wrong place who are horribly injured. All this decision does is make them financially whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fistf
Which of course means that the city's taxpayers pay for these injuries and are the real deep pockets here. As well as taxpayers in other cities when insurance companies raise rates.
Given the circumstances, the taxpayers were going to be paying anyway once these guys declared bankruptcy and stuck them with the medical bills. Again, if the chase had still been on, the city would have paid anyway. The only difference is that 20-30 second time extension. Given the fact that the City has a good risk management department, they'll find a way to mitigate the premium (take a higher retention, buy lower limits, etc.). And in the current market conditions, the increase probably won't be that bad, unless there are other claims that are making this an unprofitable risk. In that case, this is just the straw that broke the camel's back, and the amount of increase probably won't be much more than $50,000 when the City is probably spending $2,000,000+ for insurance. I can tell you with no uncertainty that they could save that $50,000 immediately if they replaced the marble floors at the courthouse.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 03:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
Insane
 
2 points.
1) If you run from the cops, you're the one that initiated the chase. Its pretty simple. The cops dont want a chase, they want to give you a ticket or warning etc. Its your fault if you run from them.

2) I understand why the CITY is paying for the injuries. The city or rather its insurance is the only one with enough money to pay for the injuries. Sure, it was the scumbags fault for running from cops and not being able to keep control of his car, so ideally HE should be responsible, but I dont see a way for him to pay out 1.5million dollars. I think the end result is good, but they shouldn't put the blame on the police.

Last edited by blade02; 05-06-2006 at 03:52 PM..
blade02 is offline  
Old 05-06-2006, 04:39 PM   #26 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by raeanna74
The criminal didn't HAVE to run. They HAD to chase. They didn't initiate. The criminal did. They just followed suit.
I agree the criminals didn't have to run. But the police certainly didn't HAVE to chase. For the reasons that highthief and I have pointed out. There are regulations outlining when it is appropriate to initiate a high speed pursuit. This didn't seem like one of them.
__________________
Feh.
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 06:26 AM   #27 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blade02
2 points.
1) If you run from the cops, you're the one that initiated the chase. Its pretty simple. The cops dont want a chase, they want to give you a ticket or warning etc. Its your fault if you run from them.

2) I understand why the CITY is paying for the injuries. The city or rather its insurance is the only one with enough money to pay for the injuries. Sure, it was the scumbags fault for running from cops and not being able to keep control of his car, so ideally HE should be responsible, but I dont see a way for him to pay out 1.5million dollars. I think the end result is good, but they shouldn't put the blame on the police.
Why not go to his insurance company for the money?
lindalove is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 06:37 AM   #28 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I understand why the city has to pay but I don't agree with setting a precidence like this. It gives incentive for departments to tell their cops not to persue criminals which will lead to more people running from cops even for things as simple as a speeding ticket. Now if the cops had this guys licence down and the plates wern't fake then they should have not chased him but if they didn't have this info I think they should have chased him. People should know that if they break the law they will have to suffer the consiquences and running from the law will get you in a lot more trouble with a very small chance of escape.
Rekna is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 10:03 AM   #29 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
If high speed chases are a problem in large urban centers, having a helicopter at your disposal virtually eliminates the danger posed by high speed pursuit and also virtually eliminates the chances that a suspect will escape.

Helicopters let the police cruisers back off, evaluate where the suspect is going, and plan ahead. I was glad to hear the GVRD (Greater Vancouver regional district) just put funding in place for a helicopter to be at the disposal of the police.
__________________
Feh.
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 11:55 AM   #30 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
It seems to me that if the word gets out that the police are not going to try and stop you then many people who wouldn't normally flee are going make a run for it.
flstf is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 12:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
Ace_O_Spades's Avatar
 
Location: EH!?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
It seems to me that if the word gets out that the police are not going to try and stop you then many people who wouldn't normally flee are going make a run for it.
Many times the choice to initiate or maintain a pursuit is information obtained from the initial event itself.

They will run the license plate and see if the vehicle is stolen. Or if the registered owner has any outstanding warrants. If so, maintaining a pursuit is likely.

This doesn't happen in a vacuum. All pertinent information is taken into account before deciding to continue/abandon a pursuit. The police can't assume everyone is a Bundy... Presumption of innocence is taken fairly seriously.
__________________
Feh.
Ace_O_Spades is offline  
Old 05-07-2006, 01:22 PM   #32 (permalink)
Addict
 
Location: In the id
When did people loose the sympathico-adrenal response?

Why can't the police follow the suspect and wait untill he is away from the lethal weapon?
iamnormal is offline  
Old 05-08-2006, 01:25 AM   #33 (permalink)
Junkie
 
G5_Todd's Avatar
 
Location: Reichstag
hopefully the judges in cases like these are assualt by a fleeing felon that the police dont chase because they are too concerned with being sued....
__________________
"....and when you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a pussy."

-General Franks
G5_Todd is offline  
Old 05-08-2006, 05:56 AM   #34 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalove
Why not go to his insurance company for the money?
They probably did, but like most people the pursuee was most likely underinsured. I think that the lowest limit that you're required to carry in NE is $20,000 per claimant/$40,000 each accident aggregate/$10,000 property damage, and a judge can't force an insurance company to pay out more than their policy limits (generally speaking). If I remember correctly roughly 60% of the population nationwide only carries the minimum limit. People who carry big insurance policies tend not to run from the police.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-08-2006, 06:01 AM   #35 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekna
I understand why the city has to pay but I don't agree with setting a precidence like this. It gives incentive for departments to tell their cops not to persue criminals which will lead to more people running from cops even for things as simple as a speeding ticket. Now if the cops had this guys licence down and the plates wern't fake then they should have not chased him but if they didn't have this info I think they should have chased him. People should know that if they break the law they will have to suffer the consiquences and running from the law will get you in a lot more trouble with a very small chance of escape.
If you run from the cops, and they get your license number, what's to stop them from showing up at your house the next day and arresting you? That's the idea behind the law. If someone has too many parking tickets and they run from the cops, why shouldn't the family of the 5-year old that's killed during the chase be allowed to collect from the police? Why were they chasing him in the first place? Chases are dangerous for everyone, and I think that there should be a good reason to chase someone at all. I like the presedent that this sets, and I'm all for responsible policing.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-08-2006, 06:04 AM   #36 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by G5_Todd
hopefully the judges in cases like these are assualt by a fleeing felon that the police dont chase because they are too concerned with being sued....
The police have every right to pursue anyone they way, and they obviously did in this case. The law clearly hasn't stopped pursuits in Nebraska, it's just opened the police up to civil liability because of them. Do you see any evidence that the police are curtailing pursuits because of it?

I guess that you're all for leaving those injured in the wake of a police chase destitute and bankrupt.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 05-08-2006, 08:19 AM   #37 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
The_Jazz

Some of the chases I have seen on the reality TV shows where the police chase someone for miles and miles because of a traffic violation or reported stolen car go way beyond what I think is reasonable and for safety reasons these pursuits should be called off.

But how far are you willing to go? If the police try to catch up to you to give you a ticket and you flee is it their fault if you crash into someone? Obviously it is the driver of the fleeing vehicle who is at fault. Since he doesn't have insurance, you seem to think it is OK to make the citizens of the city pay for the damages.

No one wants to see those injured left destitute and bankrupt but that is no reason to shift the blame to anyone else other than the driver of the fleeing car. This search for deep pockets whenever someone gets hurt is getting to the point of being ridiculous. Life is not fair and sometimes the person who hurts you does not have any money.
flstf is offline  
Old 05-09-2006, 12:40 AM   #38 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Right here
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
The_Jazz

Some of the chases I have seen on the reality TV shows where the police chase someone for miles and miles because of a traffic violation or reported stolen car go way beyond what I think is reasonable and for safety reasons these pursuits should be called off.

But how far are you willing to go? If the police try to catch up to you to give you a ticket and you flee is it their fault if you crash into someone? Obviously it is the driver of the fleeing vehicle who is at fault. Since he doesn't have insurance, you seem to think it is OK to make the citizens of the city pay for the damages.

No one wants to see those injured left destitute and bankrupt but that is no reason to shift the blame to anyone else other than the driver of the fleeing car. This search for deep pockets whenever someone gets hurt is getting to the point of being ridiculous. Life is not fair and sometimes the person who hurts you does not have any money.
I think Jazz has done an excellent job of explaining the financial reasoning behind this sort of thinking. I think ace has tapped into some social explanations, as well. I agree with their posts for a number of different reasons. the thing that surprises me is that people keep wanting to hold irrational people to rational decision making processes and responsibilities.

Look, when a child eats too much chocolate and is throwing up, we don't ignore the kid and say to ourselves that the little snot had a choice not to eat it all day long on Easter. well, hopefully we don't. I would tend to wonder what got into the parents' heads who didn't take better care of their child. because someone is expected to be responsible in a situation where only one of the agents are rational/sensible/mature enough to warrant responsibility.

it's very simple to me: stupid criminals simply don't care one way or other about the law. it's not as though they will flee or not flee depending on the status of local regulations regarding police chases. they will flee or not flee depending on their own stupidity. the police, presumably the rational agents in comparison to the criminals, have an obligation to everyone around them to do what's best, safest, and most effective in reducing the harm to the public.

on top of that, stupid criminals are really, really dumb. they flee prison and go right on home. they flee the scene and go right on home. whatever they do, they go habitual and fly right into the nest they remember. it should be a no brainer to just take their info down and cruise up to their doorstep in a half an hour. they'll be sitting on the porch drinking a 40...bragging about getting one over on the pigs.

I TA'ed for a cop once and his response, when I said the above, was that he basically agreed with me on the part about what they tend to do. but he has a reasonable, I think, response. if the police didn't give chase, and the suspect then shoot some people, the police would be to blame for that, instead. so it's damned if they do, damned if they don't. I personally disagree that people often start spraying bullets in a significant number of these types of cases, and I don't think the ones that do would do so on their own, so I don't agree at the end of the day with his response. I just can understand where he's coming from and see why someone would believe that.

obviously, to my mind, something needs to be worked out. it just doesn't make sense to me to say the police shouldn't have some sort of responsibility to the public to look out for them.
__________________
"The theory of a free press is that truth will emerge from free discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account." -- Walter Lippmann

"You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." -- Abbie Hoffman
smooth is offline  
Old 05-11-2006, 07:00 AM   #39 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
The_Jazz
But how far are you willing to go? If the police try to catch up to you to give you a ticket and you flee is it their fault if you crash into someone? Obviously it is the driver of the fleeing vehicle who is at fault. Since he doesn't have insurance, you seem to think it is OK to make the citizens of the city pay for the damages.

No one wants to see those injured left destitute and bankrupt but that is no reason to shift the blame to anyone else other than the driver of the fleeing car. This search for deep pockets whenever someone gets hurt is getting to the point of being ridiculous. Life is not fair and sometimes the person who hurts you does not have any money.
Sorry, I've been on the road without my laptop (dammit). I actually had several conversations about this case, although I wasn't in Nebraska or even that close to it.

fistf, I honestly don't have a professional opinion about whether or not allowing injured parties to collect from pursuing agencies is "right" or not. That's the law that the legislature in Nebraska passed, and as a broker, it's my job to take that into account when understanding the risk. All it does it change the pricing of any given risk in the state, and this decision will change that pricing upwards on all the Nebraska public entity business slightly (more on Omaha's because they're the ones with the big loss in their history).

Personally, I think that this is the right thing to do, although my professional judgement probably clouds that a little. If people are hurt, they deserve to be compensated for it. If I'm operating a piece of heavy machinery that malfunctions because of a design flaw, I deserve to be compensated for that. Obviously, the pursuee was acting dangerously in this specific situation, but his actions were in response to the pursuit. Clearly the police understood that danger and acted to remove it but not in time to prevent the injured parties from being harmed.

As far as the search for deep pockets - welcome to America, where the easiest way to get rich is to get hurt! In this case, I think that the judgement amount is actually in line with what's deserved, but your point is well taken. There are certain states where the judgement amounts are outrageous (I'm looking at you, Alabama), but they tend to get reduced on appeal. There's the whole issue in Mississippi right now with the silicosis class action law suit where the judge basically threw it out because it's a case manufactured by a law firm as a big cash cow. There are lots of reasons for these judgements, but sometimes they are actually deserved. I've got documented proof on my desk right now, but that will have to wait for another day.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
 

Tags
cities, court, crashes, holds, liable, policechase

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:14 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73