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Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity for reckless conduct

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held the Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity to law enforcement officers who fail to exercise reasonable care while driving.

In City of Indianapolis v. Rhodora Earl, No. 49A02-1102-PL-89, Rhodora Earl was seriously injured when a high-speed police pursuit ended with the suspect crashing into her car. Earl sued the city for her injuries, and in her amended complaint, she alleged the city was liable for her injuries because Indianapolis Police Officer Shannon Harmon continued chasing the suspect without regard to the safety of other drivers or pedestrians in a high-traffic area.

The city appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment, citing the law enforcement provision of Indiana’s Tort Claims Act. The COA held that while the law enforcement provision does grant immunity for certain actions that occur in the line of duty, an officer still has an obligation to exercise sound judgment.

Citing the Indiana Supreme Court opinion in Patrick v. Miresso, 848 N.E.2d 1083, 1084 (Ind. 2006), the appellate court wrote that a governmental unit and its police officer are not immune from liability for injuries caused by the officer’s negligent operation of a police vehicle while pursuing a fleeing suspect. It therefore affirmed the decision of the trial court.

 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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