• No Recovery, No Fee
  • Free Consultations
  • Home & Hospital Visits Available
Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Local: 734-274-2876

Hire A Real Attorney, Not A TV Personality

We know our way around a courtroom and we get the results our clients need.
View Our Practice Areas

Can Michigan police be sued for not preventing suicide?

In Michigan, when a fatal accident is caused by another person or entity, it is possible for the loved ones of the victim to seek to hold that party accountable with a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims allow Michigan residents who have suffered such a loss to receive money for funeral expenses, medical costs incurred before death, the loss of future income and the loss of companionship. These cases have a strict burden of proof and it is wise to seek legal counsel before proceeding with such a claim.

In a recent case in Michigan, a woman sued the Kent County Sheriff's Department for wrongful death for allegedly failing to prevent the suicide of her brother. The lawsuit, however, was dismissed by a circuit court that ruled the sheriff's department had governmental immunity. The case has now made its way to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The case involves a man who shot himself to death in 2004, just days after his sister received a court order requiring the man to be taken into custody for a psychiatric evaluation. The Kent County Sheriff's Department reportedly did not follow the order, and this is why his sister has now filed the lawsuit.

An internal investigation did find that the sheriff's department was negligent in handling the court order, but the circuit court that said the sheriff's department was immune from such a lawsuit and also found that the victim's sister did not prove the department was grossly negligent.

The woman then filed a claim in a probate court, asking the court to find the sheriff's department in contempt of court for not executing the order to place her brother under a psychiatric hold. She has asked for damages similar to that which are available in a wrongful death claim.

The sheriff's department maintains that it is immune from this type of claim, too, but now the case is being heard by the state's highest court.

This case is very complicated, but it shows that there are a number of ways that survivors of the victims of tragic events can seek to hold negligent parties legally accountable.

Source: Detroit.cbslocal.com, "Can Authorities Be Held In Contempt For Suicide?" March 6, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $4,391,000: Judgment entered on Oakland County jury verdict, 2008. A Michigan man suffered traumatic brain injuries in a motor vehicle accident, which caused a permanent seizure disorder. View More results
  • $2,536,454: Verdict for no-fault benefits for client severely injured in motor vehicle accident. 2012.
    View More results
  • $2,360,000: Jury verdict for serious electric shock injuries sustained by client in a construction accident in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    View More results
  • $1,400,000: Verdict for no-fault benefits due to a traumatically brain injured client, in this Washtenaw County action against Allstate Insurance Company. View More results
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For A FREE Consultation

Tell us about your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

2 convenient office locations free initial consultations

Ypsilanti Office:
119 North Huron Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Phone: 734-482-5000
Fax: 734-487-7000
Ypsilanti Law Office Map

Ypsilanti Office:

Jackson Office:
410 South Jackson Street
Jackson, MI 49201

Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Phone: 517-787-9000
Fax: 734-487-7000
Jackson Law Office Map

Handling legal
crises throughout
all of Michigan,
especially Ann
Arbor and
Ypsilanti areas.