In the typical California traffic stop, a law enforcement officer signals for the individual to stop. After stopping, the individual and officer have a conversation and the end result is usually a ticket. At times, the individual may end up accompanying the officer to the police station. Unfortunately, sometimes something goes wrong in the interaction between the motorist and the police officer, and someone gets hurt or even killed. One such incident resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit that was recently settled.
In May 2014, a father was stopped by local police officers. Apparently during this traffic stop, something went wrong, and officers decided to restrain the man. It appears that they then used a Taser on him, causing him to lose consciousness. The man died while detained by police.
The deceased man's son filed a lawsuit against the city of Hayward and Bay Area Rapid Transit. He alleged that the actions taking against his father were not necessary and resulted in his death. The claims have now settled the claim for more than $1 million.
When a death occurs as the result of another individual's negligence, the victim's family, or personal representative, may pursue a wrongful death claim in a California civil court. In this particular case, it appears that the officers' actions in using a Taser on the man led to his untimely death. In lieu of addressing the matter at trial, the defendants chose to settle out of court. At times, this action is in the best interest of all involved; an experienced attorney can help a victim's family pursue legal recourse against those believed responsible for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Hayward, BART Agree to Pay $1.07 Million in Settlement", June 9, 2017