AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Negligence: Public Protection
Federal appeals court denies recovery
in a wrongful death suit against the KCPD. Child molester killed his victims
after Kansas City (Mo). Police telephoned him they planned to arrest him,
and he should give himself up Court found no "special relationship"
between the police and the victims Taylor v. Phelan, 9 F.3d 882 (10th Cir.
City not liable for "negligent investigation" of burglary when burglar later returned and raped woman resident; officers' statements to victim that "these guys never come back" did not constitute "negligent misrepresentation" MB v. City of San Diego, 284 Cal.Rptr. 555 (Cal App. 1991).
Officers not liable for suspect's injuries after he reacted to their threat to break down his apartment door by jumping out the window Carson v. City of Philadelphia, 574 A.2d 1184 (Pa/Cmwlth. 1990).
Federal trial court erred in dismissing, without allowing amendment, complaint claiming that police officer chief failed to enforce restraining order against woman's husband because of his close personal relationship with the man; allegations that he interfered with other officers' performance of duty might state a claim Freeman v. Ferguson, 911 F.2d 52 (8th Cir. 1990).
Officers had no special relationship with family who called them to the scene of a gang fight and no duty to protect them from gunshots fired from a crowd Yates v. City of Philadelphia, 578 A.2d 609 (Pa/Cmwlth. 1990).
Michigan police chief, sheriff, officers and deputies were immune from liability for decision not to take man into custody as a mentally ill person requiring treatment; decision as to custody, as well as alleged failure to adequately instruct and supervisor officers were discretionary functions Hoffman v. Warden, 457 N.W.2d 367 (Mich App. 1990).
Police chief attending meeting had no particularized duty to protect city council members from shooting spree Sankey v. Richenberger, 456 N.W.2d 206 (Iowa, 1990).
Widow of man who died while waiting for arrival of response to "911" call could not recover for emotional distress or "outrageous conduct" Hammond v. Central Lane Communications, 792 P.2d 440 (Or App. 1990).
City was not liable for injuries to repeatedly raped and tortured kidnap victim allegedly caused by delay in rescue by police Thomas v. City of Philadelphia, 574 A.2d 1205 (Pa/Cmwlth. 1990).
New York's highest court holds rape victim could not recover damages from city and officer for failing to respond to witnesses' report of her abduction Kircher v. City of Jamestown, 74 NY 2d 251, 543 N.E.2d 443, 544 N.Y.S.2d 995 (1989).
Failure to detain alleged intoxicated motorist did not give rise to federal civil rights claim for death of other motorist in later accident Makris v. City of Grosse Pointe Park, 448 N.W.2d 352 (Mich App. 1989).
Appeals court overturns $75 million award against U.S. government for park rangers' failure to take intoxicated driver into custody whose vehicle later struck motorcyclist Crider v. United States, 885 F.2d 294 (5th Cir. 1989).
Woman whose son was born handicapped after accident could sue over alleged failure of off-duty officer to stop at disabled truck on highway Lippincott v. State of Arizona, 781 P.2d 1012 (Ariz App. 1989).
Illinois officer and village immune under state law from liability for injury in accident with vehicle stopped by officer Trepachko v. Village of Westhaven,m 540 N.E.2d 342 (Ill App. 1989).
Town not liable to motorcyclist injured in collision with driver with three outstanding arrest warrants Martin v. Mondie, 381 S.E.2d 481 (N.C. App. 1989).
Transit police officer had no duty to prevent intoxicated passenger from boarding train ; no liability for his later death Serrano v. City of New York, 541 N.Y.S.2d 803 (A.D. 1989).
Police officer/department not liable for death of student stabbed at school event; contract by department to provide additional security did not impose liability LeRose v. City of Zion Police Dept, 696 F.Supp. 1222 (N.D.Ill. 1988).
Police had no legal duty to detain person who asked for transportation to hospital and later murdered youth Ewoldt v. City of Iowa City, 438 N.W.2d 843 (Iowa App. 1989).
No due process claim for failure to provide adequate protection against burglaries of businesses Burgos v. Camerno, 708 F.Supp. 25 (D. P.Rico 1989).
Officers' failure to prevent motorist from driving while intoxicated did not violate his civil rights; no recovery for his subsequent death in accident Seibring v. Parcell's Inc, 532 N.E.2d 1335 (Ill App. 1988).
Officer had no duty to intervene in beating of man in parking lot; no duty to render medical assistance Tucker v. Callahan, 867 F.2d 909 (6th Cir. 1989).
City not liable for officer's failure to take intoxicated motorist into protective custody Williams v. Thompson, 426 N.W.2d 417 (Mich App. 1988).
Father of children murdered by their custodians while officers attempted to arrest one of them could not sue for wrongful death Lynch v. N.C. Dept of Justice, 376 S.E.2d 247 (N.C. App. 1989).
City liable for negligent failure to investigate 911 call reporting gunshot from which woman bled to death; jury award of $104 million excessive Merced v. City of New York, 534 N.Y.S.2d 60 (Supp 1987), (reported in December, 1988). Police officer not liable for decision regarding manner in which to control fire in building or failure to wake property owner nearby Frank's Livestock & Poultry Farm, Inc v. City of Wells, 431 N.W.2d 574 (Minn. App. 1988).
City and officers not liable for failure to protect witness to assault beaten by friend of arrestee after officers left Poliny v. Soto, N.E.2d 15 (Ill App. 1988).
No constitutional governmental duty to protect abused children, absent custody DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept of Social Services, 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989).
The State of Illinois owned no duty under the federal constitution to protect a victim from a man released by mental hospital; however, Illinois may impose such a duty under its tort law Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982).
Abduction victim sues city claiming she was terrorized after city and newspaper disclosed her identity Hyde v. City of Columbia, 637 S.W.2d 251 (Mo App. 1982).
Plaintiff assaulted by released inmate cannot sue state for a constitutional violation for failure to protect Doe v. South Florida State Hosp, 549 F.Supp. 838 (D.Fla 1982).
$800,000 awarded against county and city who negligently caused death in providing 911 emergency number and failing to respond DeLong v. Erie County, 455, N.Y.S.2d 887 (App. Div 1982).
No liability in city's alleged improper response to 911 emergency number where deaths resulted Trezzi v. City of Detroit, 328 N.W.2d 70 (Mich.App. 1982).
New York City Transit Authority has no duty to protect injured passenger from object thrown in window Ammirati v. New York City Transit Authority, 457 N.Y.S.2d 738 (Sup 1983).
No liability to county for allegedly failing to process involuntary commitment papers of assailant who subsequently stabbed someone Richards v. Douglas County, 328 N.W.2d 783 (Neb 1983).
Regardless of sovereign immunity, city liable by contract when it failed to provide promised protection during fireworks display resulting in injury Monadnock Display Fireworks v. Andover, 445 N.W.2d 1053 (Mass 1983).
City not liable for injury caused by mob violence Warden v. City of Wichita, 658 P.2d 1043 (Kan 1983).
No liability for beating which occurred at subway station Marvin v. Chicago Transit Authority, 446 N.W.2d 1183 (Ill App. 1983).
No liability for shooting that occurred after police left bar Smith v. City of Kenner, 423 So.2d 1171 (La App. 1983).
Montana statute barring governmental liability for damages relating to pain and suffering unconstitutional ; state could be liable for compensatory, but not punitive damages, for emotional suffering incurred from escaped mental patient
White v. State, 661 P.2d 1272 (Mont 1983).
No liability to public officials for release of juvenile who rapes and kills 12-year-old girl Larson v. Darnell, 448 N.E.2d 249 (Ill App. 1983).
Sheriff and deputies liable for not responding to acts of terrorism against black family forced from their home Green v. Francis, 705 F.2d 846 (6th Cir. 1983).
No liability for officer's alleged failure to stop assault in his presence Gallogly v. Village of Mohawk, 465 N.Y.S.2d 376 (App. 1983).
City under no obligation to report rape attacks occurring on public streets Wright v. City of Ozark, 715 F.2d 1513 (11th Cir. 1983).
County may be liable for failure of police to respond in a timely manner for assistance Chambers-Castanes v. King County, 669 P.2d 451 (Wash 1983).
State's failure to act on complaint of child beating results in $300,000 judgment Mammo v. State, 675 P.2d 1347 (Ariz App. 1983).
No liability for injuries caused after fireworks display Ziginow v. Redford Jaycees, 349 NW 153 (Mich.App. 1983).
No liability for assaults at football game Duffy v. City of Philadelphia, 580 F.Supp. 164 (E.D. Pa 1983).
City, county, and state could be liable for vehicle's racing on public beach where plaintiffs were struck and injured even though plaintiffs were also on premises in violation of ordinance Swaner v. City of Santa Monica, 198 Cal.Rptr. 208 (App. 1984).
Police officer shot by escaped inmates may recover from state Canster v. State, 675 P.2d 57 (Kan 1984).
U.S. government liable for beatings that occurred in 1961 on "freedom ride" to South Bergman v. United States, 579 F.Supp. 911 (WD Mich 1984).
No liability for death of man killed by rioters Hidgon v. Metropolitan Dade County, 446 So.2d 203 (Fla App. 1984).
No liability to officers at domestic dispute where father killed his child Rey v. City of Fredericktown, Mo, 729 F.2d 1171 (8th Cir. 1984).
Village owed duty to protect public at rock concert Comastro v. Village of Rosemont, 461 N.W.2d 616 (Ill App. 1984).
State immune from damages caused by juvenile who committed rape while on furlough Santangelo v. State, 474 N.Y.S.2d 995 (App. 1984).
No liability for head-on collision caused by motorist 20minutes earlier given sobriety test Harris By And Through Masuda v. Smith, 203 Cal.Rptr. 541 (Cal App. 1984).
Providing medical assistance to "wrong" person not grounds for liability Edwards v. City of Des Moines, 349 N.W.2d 786 (Iowa App. 1984).
No liability for failure to train dispatcher V Weglarz, Inc v. City of Cohoes, 477 N.Y.S.2d 1005 (App. 1984).
City does not have to allow fire fighters on strike access to equipment when fire erupted Jackson v. Byrne, 738 F.2d 1443 (7th Cir. 1984).
Dispatcher's failure to investigate anonymous caller's murder warning could result in liability for subsequent death Austim v. City of Scottsdale, 684 P.2d 151 (Ariz 1984).
No liability for officer's alleged refusal to protect Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (Pa/Cmwlth. 1984).
Failure to respond to crime call could result in liability Schear v. Board of County Com'rs, 687 P.2d 728 (NM 1984).
Sheriff not liable for failure to stop burglary or notify owners of sounding alarms Am Wholesale Jewelers v. Am Druggist Ins, 457 So.2d 244 (La App. 1984).
State liable for $400,000 for student's tape Miller v. State, 487 N.Y.S.2d 115 (A.D. 2 Dept 1985).
City not liable for scheduling game in allegedly racial hostile area where student was shot Williams v. City of Boston, 599 F.Supp. 363 (D.Mass 1984).
Failure to examine decedent after 911 call grounds for liability to city for death City of Hialeah v. Weatherford, 466 So.2d 1127 (Fla App. 1985).
Duty of undercover officer to intervene is triggered less quickly than that of police officers Escamilla v. City of Santa Ana, 606 F.Supp. 928 (CD Ca 1985).
Liability in responding to 911 calls discussed Galuszynski v. City of Chicago, 475 N.E.2d 960 (Ill App. 1985).
No liability for courtroom attack Rion v. Town of Ashland, 488 N.Y.S.2d 99 (A.D. 3 Dept 1985).
Employee of independent contractor could hold city hospital liable for shooting Rodis v. Herman Kiefer Hosp, 370 N.W.2d 18 (Mich.App. 1985).
City may have duty to provide security at public building Rainey v. Wilmington Parking Authority, 488 A.2d 906 (Del Super 1984).
$60,000 awarded to citizens injured after asked to give police assistance Schiaroli v. Village of Ellenville, 490 N.Y.S.2d 43 (A.D. 3 Dept 1985).
Duty to answer emergency call existed City of Kotzebue v. McLean, 702 P.2d 1309 (Alaska 1985).
Deputies owe no duty to determine that no burglars remain on premises Von Batsch v. American Dist Telegraph Co, 222 Cal.Rptr. 239 (App. 1985).
No liability in bringing wife to witness her suicidal husband's standoff with police Allen v. Toten, 218 Cal.Rptr. 725 (App. 1985).
Public carriers have duty to protect passengers from assaults Lopez v. Southern Cal Rapid Transit Dist, 40 Cal 3d 780 (1986).
City transit could be liable for injuries caused by random act of unknown person not a passenger Nola v. NY City Transit Authority, 495 N.Y.S.2d 697 (A.D. 2 Dept 1985).
Neither police officer nor city is responsible for vigilante's injuries Utsumi v. City of Grand Island, 381 N.W.2d 102 (Neb 1986).
Drunken driver can't blame police for injuries Hucko v. City of San Diego, 179 Cal App. 3d 520 (App. 1986).
City could be liable for rape Lowers v. City of Streator, 627 F.Supp. 244 (N.D.Ill. 1985).
No liability for murder after police left scene Bain v. City of Rochester, 497 N.Y.S.2d 785 (A.D. 4 Dept 1985).
Police chief not liable for husband's shooting wife and man in bed together Love v. King, 784 F.2d 708 (5th Cir. 1986).
City not liable for rape of security guard Rowley v. City of Baltimore, 505 A.2d 494 (Md 1986).
Housing authority could be liable for security guard's "goofing off" instead of performing duties Shore v. Housing Authority of Harrison, 506 A.2d 16 (NJ Super AD 1986).
Massachusetts Supreme Court finds no duty to patrol bar, despite notice of illegal activity Appleton v. Town of Hudson, 494 N.E.2d 10 (Mass 1986).
Wyoming Supreme Court says police aren't liable for accident during pursuit DeWald v. State, 719 P.2d 643 (Wyo 1986).
Maryland appeals court finds no liability for failure to arrest Ashburn v. Anne Arundel County, 510 A.2d 1078 (Md 1986).
Colorado finds no liability for officers' riot arresting intoxicated party guest, who ended up driving Leake v. Cain, 720 P.2d 152 (Colo 1986).
State responsible for probationer's injuries Sterling v. Bloom, No 15875, 5/16/86
Police not the cause of abandoned victim's death Tillotson v. Undisclosed Ins Co, 486 So.2d 918 (La App. 1986).
Law enforcement officials' false statements causing plaintiffs to fear for their lives not a constitutional violation Conner v. Sticher, 801 F.2d 1266 (11th Cir. 1986).
Officials could be liable for giving false assurances of safety Ashford v. County of Suffolk, 507 N.Y.S.2d 204 (A.D. 2 Dept 1986).
Failure to act on report of spouse abuse grounds for federal suit Bartalone v. County of Berrien, 643 F.Supp. 574 (WD Mich 1986).
Police owe no duty to stop mugging Simack v. Risely, 804 F.2d 143 (7th Cir. 1986).
$1,000,000 in punitive damages awarded against officer for failure to summon medical aide; newspaper articles did not taint the fairness of the proceedings Battista v. Olson, 516 A.2d 117 (NJ Super AD 1986).
Deputies not negligent in refusing wife's request to rescue drugged husband, who subsequently died Conner v. American Druggists Ins Co, 495 So.2d 990 (La App. 1986).
No duty to protect intoxicated citizen Ivanovich v. Doe, 499 N.E.2d 806 (Ind App. 1986).
Court finds no liability for returning husband's gun; no duty to protect wife Baker v. City of Los Angeles, 233 Cal Rptr. 760 (App. 1986).
Deputy has discretion as to where, when, and under what circumstances an arrest pursuant to a warrant will take place Mallder v. Rasmussen, 495 N.E.2d 1356 (Ill App. 1986).
Failure to summon medical care for arrestee following car accident did not amount to "deliberate indifference" absent noticeable injury; medical decisions are discretionary acts protected by immunity Hill v. City of Saginaw, 399, N.W.2d 398 (Mich.App. 1986). released for publication 2/87
Police delay in rescuing victims from massacre at McDonald's Restaurant did not increase risk of harm; no municipal liability Lopez v. City of San Diego, 235 Cal.Rptr. 583 (App. 1987).
In a suit against a town for failure to protect a wife from her husband, the town can file a third party claim against the husband and the wife's "lover" Zeagler v. Town of Jena, 503 So.2d 1137 (La App. 3 Cir. 1987).
Investigating and responding to 911 call creates no duty to give protection; no liability for woman's assault after police left her out of gas Whitcomb v. City and County of Denver, 731 P.2d 749 (Colo App. 1986); Certiorari denied; 1/20/87
Call to dispatcher for help creates no duty to protect; no liability for dispatcher's abusive conversation with victim during rape, even though she violated departmental policies Sullivan v. City of Sacramento, 235 Cal.Rptr. 844 (App. 1987).
Sheriff's leaving deputy alone to protect woman from boyfriend not grounds for section 1983 liability when she was shot Thompson v. Lancaster, 652 F.Supp. 703 (M.D. Ga 1987).
Police not liable for failure to protect wife from husband; repeated calls to police for help creates no duty to protect, despite existence of restraining order Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept, 656 F.Supp. 423 (N.D.Cal 1987).
Warning public of dangers creates no duty to protect; jury verdict for spectator's injuries set aside Labriola v. City of New York, 514 N.Y.S.2d 345 (A.D. 1 Dept 1987).
California department of motor vehicles cannot claim immunity for issuing driver's license to known user of alcohol who caused collision Johnson v. Mead, 236 Cal.Rptr. 277 (App. 1987).
Knowledge of special danger to woman shot by former boyfriend was insufficient to impose liability on officers and city Dudosh v. City of Allentown, 665 F.Supp. 381 (E.D. Pa 1987).
Estate of man killed by his brother allowed to file suit; decedent asked by police to help apprehend brother Mohan v. State of New York, 516 N.Y.S.2d 787 (A.D. 1987).
Deputy sheriff failed to arrest intoxicated driver who later had fatal accident; no duty of care owed to individuals who died Patel v. McIntyre, 667 F.Supp. 1131 (D.S.C. 1987).
Deputy Sheriff's negligent failure to inspect boat ramp for presence of truck after agreeing to do so results in liability for wrongful death of drowned fisherman Hartley v. Floyd, 512 So.2d 1022 (Fla App. 1987).
Officer guarding prisoner in hospital was enforcing the law and entitled to immunity from liability for escaped prisoner's assault on member of public City of Gary v. Cox, 512 N.E.2d 452 (Ind App. 1987).
Officers could be held liable for failing to provide assistance to intoxicated man who fell on sidewalk Trimper v. Headapohl, 412 N.W.2d 731 (Mich.App. 1987).
Officer who stopped car but failed to arrest intoxicated driver was not liable to passengers injured in later accident Schaffrath v. Village of Buffalo Grove, 513 N.E.2d 1026 (Ill App. 1987).
Officers not liable for injury to bystanders to shootout with armed suspect Green v. Denison, 738 S.W.2d 861 (Mo 1987).
Police had no "special duty" to prevent motorist's death from drowning following epileptic seizure Kavanaugh v. Midwest Club, Inc, 517 N.E.2d 656 (Ill App. 1987).
State law on protection from domestic abuse did not give police a duty to protect wife from her husband Turner v. City of North Charleston, 675 F.Supp. 314 (D.S.C. 1987).
Restaurant employee allegedly sexually assaults customer; officer and city not liable for failure to inform restaurant of employee's criminal record Hunley v. Phillips, 417 N.W.2d 485 (Mich.App. 1987).
Alabama Supreme Court orders clarification of whether city was held liable for independent negligence or officers' actions in not arresting intoxicated driver Luker v. City of Brantley, 520 So.2d 517 (Ala 1987).
Officers not liable for failure to provide first aid to assault victim; victim was not bleeding and asked to be returned to motel room Doerner by Price v. City of Asheville, 367 S.E.2d 356 (N.C. App. 1988).
Court finds no "right to be arrested" for intoxication; failure to take driver into custody did not lead to liability Ferguson v. City of Doraville, 367 S.E.2d 551 (Ga.App. 1988).
Law enforcement officials were not liable for failure to execute arrest warrant on mentally disturbed woman who assaulted plaintiff Bradford v. Metropolitan Dade County, 522 So.2d 96 (Fla App. 1988).
No liability for mere decision not to send police units to request for help outside village's jurisdiction even when attempted rape was within 300 yards of police station Sawicki v. Village of Ottawa Hills, 525 N.E.2d 468 (Ohio, 1988).
Officers had no duty to control potentially dangerous actions of intoxicated motorist; no liability to occupants of vehicle for not arresting driver Phillips v. City of Billings, 758 P.2d 772 (Mont 1988).
Rape victim could not recover damages from city and officer for failing to respond to witnesses' report of her abduction Kircher v. City of Jamestown, 531 N.Y.S.2d 152 (A.D. 1988).
" Also see: Public Protection; see also: Firearms Related: Regulations, Governmental Liability: State Government
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