No Governmental Immunity For Accident On Drive To Work

Minnesota law recognizes a basic principle of governmental immunity. Under the rule, “a public official charged by law with duties which call for the exercise of his judgment or discretion is not personally liable to an individual for damages.” The purpose of the official-immunity doctrine is to ensure that “individual government actors are able to perform their duties effectively, without fear of personal liability that might inhibit the exercise…

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Employer Not Liable For Officer’s Suicide

Scott Donohue, a lieutenant with the Village of Hempstead Police Department in New York, took his own life on September 12, 2016. Donohue’s difficulties began in 2009 when he injured his neck, back, and shoulder in a motor vehicle accident. Donohue was also diagnosed with a mild concussion, and advised his supervisors that he could not immediately return to work due to his symptoms. The Department enforces a “restriction…

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Employer Has No Duty To Defend And Indemnify Corrections Officer

On June 13, 2012, corrections officer Connie Sutton was responsible for overseeing the female section of the Portage County Jail in Ohio. She was the only officer on duty at the time of the incident in question, and the unit was overcrowded. It had capacity for 34 inmates but housed 52, resulting in cramped conditions. Inmates reportedly were angry about the overcrowding. At around 8:00 pm, inmate Holly Anderson…

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Major Decision On Connecticut’s Indemnification Law

Section 53-39a of Connecticut’s General Statutes “authorizes indemnification for economic loss, including legal fees, incurred by officers of local police departments who are prosecuted for crimes allegedly committed by them in the course of their duties when the charges against them are dismissed or they are found not guilty.” The Connecticut Supreme Court recently had occasion to issue a sweeping decision concerning the scope of the indemnification obligation. The…

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Pennsylvania Not Required To Defend Corporal In Civil Case

In September 1970, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania police discovered the body of 13-year-old John Mitchell in a detached garage owned by the family of 14-year-old Stephen Crawford. It was determined that the cause of Mitchell’s death was blunt force trauma to his head. Parked inside the garage and adjacent to Mitchell’s body was a Pontiac station wagon owned by the Crawford family. During the course of the investigation, police discovered what…

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