Wednesday, August 20, 2008

California Deputies Sue Widow

"The bloody date was June 5, 2007. Karen Mies, staggering under the news that her son had murdered her husband, told a family friend she was grateful for one thing: The wounded deputies were alive.

One year later to the day, two of the deputies filed a civil lawsuit against the widow and the estate of her deceased husband, Arthur, and her son. Officers Jon Yaws and Greg Murphy – both recovered and back at work – each is suing the Mies family for $4 million for emotional distress, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and punitive damages.

Given her modest circumstances, the 66-year-old hospice nurse says their $8 million claim would be laughable – if the whole situation were not so heartbreaking.

"June 5 was a tragic day for me and my family, and it was a tragic day for the deputies who were injured," Karen Mies said. "We were all victims that day. But this lawsuit is victimizing our family again. What do they want? My husband's dead, my son's dead. Do they want my house and my 10-year-old car?"

In their lawsuit, Yaws and Murphy allege the Mies family was negligent in failing to control their troubled son Eddie, behavior that led to the gunbattle and their injuries. Yaws was wounded in the arm, chest and leg; Murphy was struck once in the leg

In addition to their physical injuries, the suit alleges the deputies suffered anxiety and humiliation.

Such lawsuits by police officers are highly unusual – and hard to win, according to several experts in tort law. They point to a long-standing legal tenet called "the firefighter's rule," which generally precludes emergency workers injured in the line of duty from suing citizens."

Gee. Ya think I can sue the Vietnamese, Granada, Iraqi, and (DELETED: Remember, you were never there. Editor) governments? Wait. I never suffered anxiety or humiliation. Damn. Should'a been a cop. Wouldn't have learned a damn thing about honor, duty, and country, but could weep and whine and whimper with the best of 'em.

Thanks to The Smallest Minority for the link.

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