Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

About a week ago, a Florida district court upheld a jury verdict awarding the family of a man killed by police $2.26 million. According to a report by CBS 12 News, the man was killed after he was involved in an altercation with police that he may have started. Evidently, the man was shouting at traffic and acting “strangely” when police approached him.

One thing led to another, and the encounter escalated. Police eventually shot the man, mortally wounding him. As he was dying, one or more police officers repeatedly shocked the man using their stun guns. The man soon died from his injuries.

At trial, the man’s family claimed that the actions of the police were excessive and filed a wrongful death suit against the government. After hearing the evidence, the jury determined that the use of the stun gun constituted “excessive and objectively unreasonable force,” awarding them $2.26 million. The district court judge upheld the jury’s verdict. A spokesperson for the police force indicated that it plans to appeal the decision.

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In a tragic accident near Jacksonville last week, one man lost his life when he was rear-ended and pushed off of the Buckman Bridge. According to a report by the Florida Times-Union, a tractor-trailer jack-knifed on the southbound lanes of the bridge, causing traffic to back up quickly. In addition, the accident caused rubbernecking in the northbound lanes, as drivers slowed down to see what was going on. One northbound driver, perhaps not seeing the slowing traffic ahead of him, slammed into the back of a pick-up truck, pushing the truck over the edge of the bridge.

Witnesses say they saw a man in the water moments after the accident, but that he quickly submerged and was not seen again. A few hours later, emergency crews extricated the deceased driver from the waters of St. John’s River.

The driver of the car that rear-ended the truck, the article points out, had been cited for various violations six times in the past. He had taken a traffic safety course and paid several fines related to the citations. As of the time of publication, there have been no charges filed against the driver of the car, but an investigation is underway.

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