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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148622 Find in a Library
Title: Officers Fight Back
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1994)  Pages:50-55,75
Author(s): K Benson
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 7
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the legal grounds for police officers to sue citizens whose actions or negligence result in injury or financial loss to police officers as they are performing their duties.
Abstract: In the past, citizens and police officers have considered injury to officers as one of the risks of law enforcement work. Court cases supported this notion with an argument known as the Fireman's Rule. As stated in the Michigan case of Kreski versus Modern Wholesale Electric Supply Co. (1987), "The very nature of police work and fire fighting is to confront danger." Under this view, officers' civil suits against those who cause injury and loss to them are not taken seriously. Although officers are currently more willing to test the courts with civil suits for injuries suffered, the majority of courts still abide by the Fireman's Rule. Still, lawyers are attacking laws that limit officers' ability to sue and using the exceptions that allow it. Aitchison, in his book, "Rights of Law Enforcement Officers," details five categories of officer-as-plaintiff lawsuits. Four of them are discussed in this article: intentional tort, negligence, defamation, and product liability.
Main Term(s): Assaults on police
Index Term(s): Civil liability; Courts; Negligence; Police safety
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