City Not Liable for Acts of Fleeing Suspect

The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals Holt v. City of Fayetteville examined the application of the public duty doctrine to bar a suit against a public employee.

Background
Henry Holt, Sr. died in a car accident when his car was struck by a police car driven by an individual – Misty Shelton – who had been placed under arrest by the Fayetteville Police Department. Mr. Holt’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf alleging that the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures in arresting Ms. Shelton by failing to properly restrain her, which then allowed her to flee in the police car that struck Mr. Holt’s car. The named defendants were the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Police Department, John Doe Police Officer, and Misty Shelton. [Read more…]