San Diego Police Dept Faces $50M Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || May 21, 2014

The family of a motorcyclist killed in a police-involved collision has filed a $50 million claim against the San Diego Police Department, claiming a patrol officer was at fault for the fatal accident.

Details of the police report related to the collision have not yet been released, but public records obtained by reporters described witness reports of the November 2013 incident. Witnesses said a police officer was second in line at a red light at the intersection of Mount Everest Blvd and Balboa Ave when he suddenly drove around the car in front of the patrol vehicle, accelerated and made an illegal U-turn at the red light onto Balboa. Witnesses placed the blame of the collision on the police officer who made the maneuver.

The attorney representing the family of the motorcyclist stated that the motorcyclist had a green light and was traveling legally through the intersection when the patrol car suddenly moved into his path.

The report from the county medical examiner said that the officer heard of a pursuit involving a hit-and-run suspect while waiting at the light. The officer was reported as having his lights and sirens on when he went to respond to the call. The report also states that the motorcyclist was wearing his helmet and was traveling the speed limit at the time of the accident.

In addition to alleging fault on the part of the police officer who responded to the call, the motorcyclist's family has expressed serious concerns about how police officers at the scene of the accident treated the victim's son. According to the family, the motorcyclist's son went out to look for his father when he did not come home. He came upon the crash site and told the officer at the scene that it was his father's bike. The officer then made statements that conveyed a negative image of the motorcyclist, along the lines of "rebel motorcycle driver" and "reckless rider." The son asked the police to accompany him to his house to break the news to his mother, but they allegedly refused this request.

This case is currently pending; its outcome remains to be seen. If the family's claims are true, this is an example of serious negligence on the part of an officer who claimed another's life in his haste to respond to a call.

Auto Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles

Police cars and other emergency vehicles, like fire trucks and ambulances, must obey specific laws when it comes to using their sirens and maneuvering through slow or stopped traffic and intersections. They cannot simply careen through the streets with no regard for other vehicles if their lights and sirens are engaged. They must use caution and may actually be required to slow significantly or stop in intersections, depending on the specific scenario. If drivers of ambulances, police cars and fire trucks do not follow proper procedures on the road, they place everyone in the area at risk.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving any type of emergency or law enforcement vehicle, please call a San Diego personal injury lawyer at The McClellan Law Firm. We can provide you with a free case review to talk about what occurred, what you can do at this point and what options you have in seeking justice and fair compensation for your injuries or loss. We are committed to protecting the rights of accident victims and their families in and around the San Diego area.
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