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Louisiana deputies found negligent in wrongful death suit

Some time ago, this blog reported on the January 24, 2013 shooting of a LaPlace woman. At the time, the family had vowed to pursue a wrongful death claim against Louisiana State Police. Recently, a decision was rendered on the wrongful death claim.

After being stopped for a lack of headlights on her vehicle, the 60-year-old refused to get out of her vehicle during the 1:30 a.m. traffic stop. Authorities claim that she waved a gun at officers and drove off. She drove into the driveway of a nearby home. Officers followed and again requested that she get out of the car. Instead of getting out of the car, the 60-year-old began to fire shots at the police. The officers returned fire and she was killed by one of those bullets.

Her son was awarded $250,000 in the wrongful death suit. The jury determined that the 60-year-old woman was 50 percent to blame for her death while the St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff's deputies were found negligent and 50 percent responsible for her death. The 60-year-old's son is satisfied with the verdict but made it clear that the award will never replace the life of his mother. However he is pleased that the officers received some blame for his mother's death.

This high profile case has captivated the New Orleans public. Anyone who feels that a loved one has died due to the negligence of another may seek a wrongful death claim. A child or a spouse of the deceased can bring a lawsuit in the state of Louisiana.

Source: The Times Picayune, "Jury finds 4 sheriff's deputies negligent in shooting death of LaPlace woman," Littice Bacon-Blood, February 16, 2015

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