Parents Of Florida Teen Awarded $15 Million In Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Knowing that your child died due to a police department’s negligence is especially devastating. A Florida family recently got justice after a jury awarded them $15 million after their teen son was hit by a car due to law enforcement negligence.
The incident happened on February 7, 2014, when approximately 100 teens were kicked out of the Florida State Fair for fights and other misconduct. The 14-year-old boy was arrested and detained. He and other teens were then dropped off near I-4 and abandoned by police in search of rides home. The teen crossed I-4 and was killed after he was hit by an SUV.
The boy’s parents, however, were never notified by police that their son was kicked out of the fair and needed to be picked up. Police purposely put the teen in a dangerous situation and the parents sued the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department for its negligence.
While the department did not agree that they caused the teen’s death, the jury disagreed. The 10-person jury reached its verdict on September 22 in Tampa federal court. The jury assigned 90% of the negligence to the sheriff and 10% to the teen. The parents were awarded a total of $15 million in the federal wrongful death lawsuit, with $7.5 million apiece going to each parent. The verdict ended six years of litigation the boy’s parents went through to get justice. They were happy with the outcome.
The sheriff has expressed his sympathy for the boy’s family. He does not agree with the verdict, though, and could possibly appeal it.
Role of Police Officers
Police officers have a duty to protect citizens, especially children. Law enforcement officials respond to reports of child abuse and neglect every day, so being negligent with children and teens in their care is not acceptable.
The police officers in this case dropped the ball by abandoning the teens by a busy highway. Instead, the police officers should have kept the children in their custody and called each child’s parents to inform them of the situation and request that they pick up their kids. Had they done this, the teen would not have had to cross the street and he would still be alive today. It’s a tragic situation for the boy’s family. While the $15 million will not bring the boy back to life, it will pay for associated expenses and bring about closure.
Contact Us Today
Nobody wants to deal with the death of a loved one. When a family member is killed by someone else’s negligence, you can get compensation and justice.
A Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer from Leifer & Ramirez can help you during this difficult time. We will not rest until those responsible for your loved one’s death are held accountable for their actions. Fill out the online form or call 561-660-9421 to schedule a free consultation.