The Supreme Court of Ohio, http://www.sconet.state.oh.us, will hear oral arguments in February 2016 in the case of Argabrite v. Neer. A woman was seriously injured when a suspected burglar crashed his car into her while fleeing from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department officers during a police chase. So far, two lower courts have ruled the officers are immune from the lawsuit, even though the officers were not following police directives. The chase was in broad daylight around noon and the crash occurred after about seven minutes on six miles of streets and highways. The basis for immunity, or no liability, rest upon Ohio Statute R.C. 2744.03(A)(6)(b). The crash happened after the suspect pulled into opposing traffic and hit the woman head on. She sustained life-threatening injuries and the suspect was killed.
It is nearly impossible to sue police officers, even if they are violating division rules and policies regarding a chase. The claimant must prove that the officers conduct was extreme and outrageous.
Immunity for police officers is an archaic rule, dating back to The King’s Court, which believed the King and his men could do no wrong as it relates to his subjects. Why the law has survived over time is anyone’s guess, but needs to be changed. Police should be held to the same standard as the citizens of the State. In as much as the present makeup of the Court rarely decides case in favor of injured victims or their rights, this author is not expecting a new standard to be handed down for the victim. I will follow up with their decision after it has been written.