In 2008, a high-speed chase with authorities looking to apprehend a suspect in a low-level drug deal brought multiple cars screaming down Memorial Parkway at speeds estimated to be around 90 miles per hour. The chase ended when the suspect ran a red light, and crashed into a NASA engineer's vehicle.
The crash victim was not only a brilliant mind, but a father and a husband as well. The impact killed the Alabama man, robbing a wife of her husband and children of their father. Accordingly, the wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit not long after her husband's untimely death against parties related to the Madison-Morgan County Strategic Counterdrug Team that took place in this high-speed chase and the suspect that was fleeing authorities.
This case has unfolded in Huntsville courtrooms for quite some time, as disputes over whether or not assigning liability to authorities acting in performance of their duty should be permitted. A new date must now be set for a summary judgment in the death. The outcome of this case and any monetary compensation that this wife will be entitled to for the death of her husband remains to be seen.
This husband was a blameless victim, and now his family is made to suffer as they work to endure his loss. In Alabama, under similar situations in which negligence is thought to play a part in an individual's untimely death, surviving family could be entitled to punitive damages for the happenings. In similar cases of preventable loss, such compensation may be the only sense of justice that an Alabama can find.
Source: AL.com, "March hearing likely in effort to stop lawsuit over fatal chase that killed NASA engineer," Brian Lawson, Feb. 15, 2013