Mississippi Supreme Court overturns major damage award for injured police officers

Post #2 image. 2012-08-29.jpgThe Mississippi Supreme Court recently announced that it would uphold a decision that a local judge in Hinds County, Mississippi made a mistake when determining how much money the city of Jackson was obligated to pay in an injury case involving a police chase.

At the end of last year the Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned a $300,000 damage award in favor of a former police officer from Richland. The officer sued after he sustained injuries back in 2004 when a car being chased by Jackson Police hit his personal vehicle.

The Hinds County Court found that the city of Jackson was 80% at fault for the man’s injuries. The local court also ruled that the juvenile being chased by officers was only 20% at fault for the car crash. The Hinds County judge said that police recklessly got involved in a chase that went past a church day care, a Head Start facility, Tougaloo College’s main entrance, residential neighborhoods, through a private yard and against traffic control devices, all around 8:30 a.m. on a school day. The judge laid blame at the feet of the Jackson Police Department for instigating the chase which is what ultimately resulted in the crash.

The city appealed the decision, arguing that it was unfair to assign it the majority of liability when evidence showed the juvenile created the dangerous situation by failing to heed the warnings of police. The Mississippi Court of Appeals agreed with the city and found that evidence in the case did not support finding that the city of Jackson was more at fault than the juvenile. The Court of Appeals pointed out that it was the juvenile who drove into the injured officer while driving a stolen vehicle at a high rate of speed through a red light.

The Mississippi Supreme Court announced that it would not hear the injured officer’s appeal of the decision, meaning the ruling by the Appeals Court would be upheld. The officer claimed that he was forced to resign from his job with the Richland Police Department because of the extent of his injuries. The money was needed to help compensate for his loss of employment and for the injuries he sustained that day. The officer is now worried that he will never receive enough money to help make up for all the harm that resulted from the crash last December.

If you have been injured in a car crash / automobile accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800.

Source: “Mississippi Court Orders New Damages Determination in Accident,” by The Associated Press, published at ClaimsJournal.com.

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