St. Lucie County Florida is a coastal area approximately halfway between Orlando and Miami. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office has been sued a number of times for injuries and death related to their policing activities in the area. Local victims of these kinds of police actions should educate themselves about the possibility of filing a lawsuit and retaining legal representation. One of the most common types of civil lawsuit against any government entity or business is called a negligence action.

One of the most high profile negligence cases in the area’s history involved the fatal shooting of Gregory Hill Jr. Police responded to a noise complaint at his residence due to concerns from a local school nearby. Police alleged that Hill was blasting music in his garage while extremely intoxicated. The investigation also uncovered a gun in Hill’s back pocket. There is some dispute as to exactly what happened after the police initially knocked on his front door, but Hill ended up shot three times in his garage, twice in the stomach area and once in the head. After a trial, a jury awarded just four dollars to Hill’s family after finding that Hill’s conduct was 99 percent liable for the resulting injuries based on a comparative negligence standard. Critics such as the Black Lives Matter movement had stated that the decision is a textbook example of the kinds of behavior police can get away with, and the lack or repercussions for their violent actions. This result was especially insulting considering the award was to be split between Hill’s mother and three surviving children for funeral and medical expenses.

What is Negligence and how is it related to the Police?

Negligence is the legal term for when one individual fails to exercise proper care and causes injuries to other people. In cases of police misconduct, this usually involves an accusation that an officer was acting outside of the scope of their duty by beating or shooting someone in a situation that did not require such force. In the shooting of Hill mentioned above, it seems unreasonable that a response to a noise complaint would require the use of deadly force by firing multiple shots. However, seasoned lawyers know that fighting against police departments is not easy.

At a trial for negligence against a police department, a lawyer’s job is to essentially prove that unreasonable actions by an officer caused serious physical, mental, and emotional harm to an injured party. Once it is established that a police officer breached their normal duty of care, they can then make a case for damages which is a monetary amount used to compensate a victim for their injuries, medical bills, missed time from work, and other related expenses. There are also non-economic damages related to the pain and suffering of a victim and their family. Plaintiffs can provide their lawyer with all the information and evidence they have related to the police misconduct to help their case.

Lawyers in St. Lucie County can Speak with you

For help filing a negligence lawsuit or any other action against the police in St. Lucie County, please contact a local attorney with experience in this area of the law. A conversation with a lawyer experienced in dealing with police misconduct is the best way to determine how to proceed.