City Sued After Three Die In Firetruck Accident
One family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kansas City and their police department after an accident with a fire truck took three lives. Among those killed was a passenger in an SUV. Their family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City. More wrongful death lawsuits could be incoming pending the outcome of an investigation conducted by the City into the incident. Thus far the results of that investigation have not been released and the driver of the fire truck has not been named or faced disciplinary consequences.
According to early reports, the fire truck collided with an SUV at an intersection and struck a brick building that partially collapsed. Both driver and passenger in the SUV were killed and another pedestrian was killed as well. The building is also in pretty rough shape.
Understanding sovereign immunity
Every state in the country, along with the federal government and municipalities both permits and limits lawsuits against the state. Since these lawsuits are paid out of public coffers, there is a sense that they need to be protected. In fact, Missouri’s rules in regards to sovereign immunity are slightly more permissive than Florida’s.
In Florida, plaintiffs are only allowed to collect $200,000 at the very most and if the incident involves multiple plaintiffs, then that number is capped at $300,000. That is something that the Parkland parents are now attempting to circumvent as they would all be only entitled to recover a total of $350,000 and split that however many ways.
In Missouri, however, the cap is over $400,000 per plaintiff and over $3 million per incident. So, each wrongful death would settle for about $450,000 and there would still be money left over to repair the building.
Sovereign immunity in Florida
Some states bar simple negligence claims against government employees. These rules bar the vast majority of traffic accident cases unless there is gross or extreme negligence. In those cases, you would not be able to pursue punitive damages against the government. In Florida, you cannot sue the government concerning a plan, but you can sue the government over how they implement the plan. In other words, certain decisions are within the government’s purview to decide without fear of a lawsuit while other decisions do expose the government to a lawsuit. In other words, a plaintiff must prove that the negligence was related to the implementation of a plan and not the plan itself. A negligent plan, policy, or process can never become the subject of a lawsuit in Florida. Negligently operating a fire truck, however, is still compensable.
Talk to a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert file lawsuits on behalf of those who are injured by commercial vehicles in traffic accidents. Call our Coral Gables tire defect lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.