Family of Man with Down Syndrome Sues the State of Maryland After He’s Killed While Being Detained By Off-Duty Police

Earlier this year, a man with Down Syndrome was killed when three police officers moonlighting as mall security officers tried to detain the man for repeatedly viewing the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” without a ticket. According to a report by the Washington Post, the officers tried to forcibly remove the man and in the process fractured his larynx, causing him to suffocate. The medical examiner listed the death as a homicide, but the district attorney decided not to press criminal charges.

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Evidently, the man’s family has filed suit against the State of Maryland, claiming that the treatment of their loved one was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The mall operator as well as the cinema are also named in the suit.

Maryland’s Response

The State of Maryland is asking the federal court hearing the case to dismiss the suit, arguing that the man was targeted by the police officers not because of his disability but because he was breaking the law.

The man’s family is arguing that the police officers should have been trained on how to handle people with developmental disabilities. For example, perhaps the officers should not jump to any conclusions and assume that an individual with a disability is resisting arrest and being non-complaint.

Wrongful Death Suits in Maryland

Anytime a person’s intentional, negligent, or reckless actions cause the death of another individual, the victim’s family is entitled to bring what is called a wrongful death action against the person they allege killed their loved one.

In order to succeed in a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must be able to prove that it was the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions that caused the death of their loved one. Additionally, the plaintiff must have some kind of close familial relationship with the victim, such as that of a parent, spouse, or child.

Recovering for the Wrongful Death of Your Loved One

Generally, the plaintiff must point to specific facts that show the defendant was negligent or reckless. In this case above, it is clear that the officers killed the victim. What is up in the air is whether the State of Maryland was negligent or reckless in failing to properly train the officers on how to deal with people who have developmental disabilities.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Accident?

If you have recently lost a loved one in any kind of Maryland accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your loss. In many cases, defendants are corporations that will secure skilled legal counsel as soon as they are notified that they are being sued. To make sure that you are not exploited by the defendant’s attorney, you should ensure that you retain your own Maryland personal injury attorney. If you do, the defendant’s attorney will not be permitted to speak to you without your attorney’s permission. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule your free initial consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.

More Blog Posts:

Recall in the Midwest Results in 1.8 Million Pounds of Ground Beef Being Recalled; Hummus Recalled as Well, Maryland Accident Law Blog, May 28, 2014.

Drowning Death During Tough Mudder Competition Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit Maryland Accident Law Blog, June 5, 2014.

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