“Cops” And The Case For Wrongful Death

For decades, we’ve all watched “Cops” on TV and followed the police force as they crusade against wrongdoing and injustice. But fighting crime is dangerous, and the people who make the show aren’t necessarily trained (or armed) to the same extent as police.

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That became all too clear when a member of the “Cops” crew tragically lost his life during a recent shootout, as CNN reports. He’d been working as an audio technician and riding along with a routine patrol squad when an emergency call came in: a nearby Wendy’s was under siege by an armed gunman.

When “Cops” arrived on the scene, the suspect opened fire. The police shot back, and the crewman found himself trapped in their crossfire. Even though he was equipped with bulletproof clothing, an opening near his arm allowed a shot to pass through and deliver a fatal blow to his body.

Now, his family, friends, and even the show’s fans are looking for answers. As it turns out, it was a police officer’s bullet that struck the fallen sound technician. Nevertheless, the robbery suspect can still be held criminally responsible for his death.

But what about civil liability? The deceased man’s family may have a valid claim for wrongful death if they can prove that the parties involved acted negligently. That’s an easy case to make against the robber, but compensation often proves hard to collect where criminal defendants are concerned.

Interestingly, the producers of “Cops” could themselves be on the hook for the family’s damages. While the show may be able to argue that it took reasonable precautions to prevent serious injury or death (the bulletproof vest, for example), the family will likely point to the incredibly dangerous nature of the job and ask a jury whether “Cops” really did enough.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of someone else’s negligence, an Arizona wrongful death attorney at Kamper, Estrada & Simmons can help. Even if the negligent party was an employer, recourse may be available outside of the Worker’s Compensation system. Call our office today to talk about your options.

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