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Wrongful Death Case Against Michigan State Police Settles for $12 Million
A wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Michigan State Police after a boy was killed in an ATV accident has settled for $12 million.
In August of 2017, a Detroit teen was riding his ATV down the street when he passed two state troopers in their patrol vehicle. During the trial, one of the troopers testified that the 15-year-old was driving unusually and at a high rate of speed. He said that they began to pursue the boy and it appeared that he was trying to lure them into a trap.
The trooper, who was riding in the passenger side of the vehicle at the time of the accident, said that he saw the boy reach toward his waistband. Concerned that the teen might have been going for a weapon, he decided to deploy his stun gun. When the trooper did that, the teen crashed his ATV into a parked car and later died of his injuries.
The troopers involved in the incident quit the agency shortly after the accident. The agency has a policy that prohibits troopers from deploying their stun guns from moving vehicles. A report revealed that the driver and the supervisor had tried to conceal details of the crash, including the trooper’s use of his taser.
Michigan Police Revise Chase Policies
The $12 million settlement will be paid to the boy’s family and ends the case filed against the trooper who deployed the taser, the trooper driving the patrol vehicle, and their supervisor. Although money can never undo the accident or erase the family’s pain, it does serve to send a message to the Michigan State Police that such conduct will not be tolerated.
Because of the accident, the agency has updated its chase policies in Detroit, stating that if a person has committed a traffic offense or misdemeanor, officers will not give chase.
Trooper Sentenced to Prison
In May of 2019, the trooper who deployed the taser was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. He had previously been reprimanded for using excessive force and deploying his stun gun on handcuffed suspects.
Get Dedicated Legal Representation From Somera & Silva, LLP
When a person’s reckless actions or negligence results in someone else’s death, they could be held financially liable for damages the surviving family suffered. This is true even if the perpetrator was criminally convicted for the offense.
If you lost a loved one at the hands of another in Boca Raton, our team is ready to provide the compassionate yet aggressive legal support you need to pursue a civil lawsuit against that individual. We have extensive legal experience and know how to build effective strategies in wrongful death cases.