Thursday, May 13, 2010
What happens when a private citizen is rear-ended by a D.C. Metropolitan Police detective who is driving her son to school?
In one instance, the citizen ends up getting arrested and charged with reckless driving. The citizen was tried and acquitted of the charges. He then sued the detective and the arresting officer for false arrest, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He also sued the city for negligent supervision. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals today affirmed the award of damages to the citizen.
The plaintiff was a clinical psychologist at Walter Reed Hospital who was driving a silver Porsche. He was hit by the detective, driving a green Honda. The detective got angry and profane, admitting that she had a high level of "pissivity." This presumably is in contrast to a level of "passivity." A police officer responded and arrested the clinical psychologist after what could fairly be characterized as an inadequate investigation, which appears to have consisted of siding with the detective.
The court rejected the District's appeal on the issue of allegedly inconsistent jury verdicts. The court also agreed that the detective could not be liable for false arrest and malicious prosecution, as she left to take her son to school. The arresting officer was liable as was the District for failure to supervise. (Mike Frisch)