The Clarion Ledger had an interesting article this morning about immunity for Mississippi police officers who are involved in automobile accidents. The article mentions one of our previous cases, Harris v. City of Jackson which you can read about here.
It is truly a shame that police officers and other state, county, and city workers have immunity for car accidents for which you and I would be held responsible. The only way to overcome this immunity is to show the Government worker caused the accident by acting with “reckless disregard” to a person’s rights. In the Harris case, the officer was speeding at 100 mph and ran a red light smashing into our client’s son who was turning on a green arrow. This was held to be “reckless disregard”.
While we are lamenting the immunity given to State employees, we are fortunate to have any recourse. Prior to the legislature enacting the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, Government employees had absolute immunity under state law for all their actions. Without the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, the Harris family would not have had any recourse for their son’s death. Federal law would not have provided any relief since police involved car accident cases under federal civil rights law require a showing that the officer acted with malice when causing a car accident. We could not show that.
Charles R. “Chuck” Mullins has handled numerous civil rights and police abuse cases over the years. Read more about Chuck at the Coxwell & Associates website.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.