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Representing the Seriously Injured

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Injured Motorcycle Passenger Loses Claim Against Police Officer at Prior Accident Scene

Connecticut Injury Lawyer - Car and Truck Accidents - Hartford - Waterbury
Passenger Hurt When Motorcycle
Swerves to Avoid Tow Truck at
Prior Accident Scene
Faulkner v. Daddona, 63 A.3d 993, 142 Conn.App. 113 (Conn.App. 2013)

Ms. Patricia Faulkner suffered personal injury when she was thrown off the back of a motorcycle that came upon an accident scene and swerved to avoid a tow truck that she claimed unexpectedly pulled out and blocked both lanes of travel on Route 262 in Watertown.  Her lawyer sued a police officer at the scene of the prior accident and the town’s police chief claiming that the accident scene was not properly secured.

            The police chief and police officer successfully asked the court to throw out the case on the grounds that Connecticut personal injury law protects municipal employees from lawsuits for injuries if the employees are performing activities that require them to exercise discretion.  The court threw out the case and the Connecticut Appellate Court agreed with that decision, quoting language from a 2006 case to explain its reasoning:

Municipal officials are immunized from liability for negligence arising out of their discretionary acts in part because of the danger that a more expansive exposure to liability would cramp the exercise of official discretion beyond the limits desirable in our society. . . . Discretionary act immunity reflects a value judgment that—despite injury to a member of the public—the broader interest in having government officers and employees free to exercise judgment and discretion in their official functions, unhampered by the fear of second-guessing and retaliatory lawsuits, outweighs the benefits to be had from imposing liability for that injury.

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