Family Sues Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after Fatal Accident
The family of a 62-year-old man is suing the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after video evidence showed him being struck by a now-former officer with the department. The man was hit by a police cruiser after exiting a Burger King on University Boulevard at 9:45 at night.
Lawyers for the family of the victim are claiming that the Sheriff’s department released misinformation concerning the accident that painted the victim in a bad light, suggesting he was to blame. The public statement suggested the victim was suicidal and homeless, but the police apparently confused him with another man who had recently crossed the street and one who was not killed by a police vehicle.
The family responded quite negatively to police characterizing the man in such a way.
Police Mischaracterization as an Aggravating Factor
The family believes that the police intentionally mischaracterized the victim for the purpose of absolving themselves of culpability. They said that this added to their grief and caused them psychological distress.
The police-concocted story was all over the place. First he was a suicidal homeless man, then he might have been high on something. Meanwhile, in reality, he was in Jacksonville on a business trip.
The family is rightfully furious and has demanded that the Jacksonville SO publically retract the misinformation that the fed the public. As yet, however, they have refused requests to do so.
Video of the Accident
Another piece of information that has come out after the accident is video surveillance of the incident. The video evidence appears to refute police accounts of what happened. The officer has resigned since the incident occurred though not because of that accident. The officer resigned as part of a plea deal after beating a handcuffed teenager.
Damages and Negligence
While traffic accidents involving pedestrians happen, particularly at night, the family of the victim is arguing that the Jacksonville SO protected an officer who had shown a persistent pattern of abuse and misconduct. They are further claiming that their characterization of the victim was tactically malicious and meant to absolve themselves of any liability issues. The officer, himself, had been involved in previous car accidents and this should have indicated that there was a serious problem with him before the accident occurred.
The victim’s parents are claiming that they relied on him as a caregiver and that they were emotionally traumatized by the police department’s mischaracterization of their son. Because they are suing a government agency and employees who were working for the government at the time of the fatal accident, they are not entitled to sue for punitive damages and there are other restrictions on filing their lawsuit.
Nonetheless, they can collect damages for their son’s death and may be able to collect more damages for the way the police department handled that situation afterwards.
Jacksonville Wrongful Death Attorney
At Gillette Law in Jacksonville, your recovery is our mission. If your loved one has been killed by another’s negligence, give us a call or contact us online and we will begin discussing your case immediately.