Friday, March 24, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Addict's widow sues

This is the fifth and last column from my previous writing cycle for the paper. I'm still behind in getting my columns posted - life's just too jam-packed with work to spend the time scanning and posting - so, oddly, I've been publishing new columns in the paper all this week while I've been blog-posting my pieces from earlier this month. I'll catch up. Eventually.

I have immense respect for the police. They risk life and limb every day. And in doing so, they come in contact with crackheads and other troubled humans who, in the blink of an eye, can end a career or a life.

Sometimes, the folks they try to save from themselves end up dying in the process. And sometimes officers get sued.

This is one such case. If the world has any justice, the jury will take one look at this lawsuit and laugh it out of court.
Taser lawsuit wrong on all levels
Published Saturday, March 4, 2006
The London Free Press

I’ve heard of frivolous lawsuits, but this one should win some sort of prize. Many of us have heard the story of Peter LaMonday, a drug addict who died in May 2004 after police subdued him with a taser gun. It took seven officers responding to reports of a man breaking a window on Hamilton Road to take LaMonday, who was high on crack cocaine, into custody.

The cause of death was cited as “a cocaine-induced excited delirium while in a prone position.”

The province’s Special Investigations Unit subsequently cleared all officers. A coroner’s inquest led to new protocols for taser use.

Now his widow is suing the cops and the London Health Sciences Centre for $2.8 million, alleging negligence in the investigation, arrest and care.

This appears to be little more than a blatant play for cash from taxpayers’ pockets. Worse, it masks the larger-scale issue: Drug addiction is a tragedy that continues to eat its way into the core of society.

I feel sorry for LaMonday’s widow, but a lawsuit against those who dedicate their lives to fight this scourge is just plain wrong.

Your turn: Does this case have a prayer? Should it have been allowed to proceed at all?


keda said...

of course not.

Sally said...

I hate frivolous lawsuits, and the type of people in this world who are the cause of "stupid warnings" such as : hot coffee, drink with caution.
Whatever happened to natural selection? :P

CanEragon said...

The taser issue has been a problem in many cases. If it took seven officers to subdue him, he must have been extremely "stoked" on more than just one drug.

I don't think this lawsuit has a leg to stand on. I don't think this is a brutality case, but a misfortune of the addict who went "crazy."

Police, as of late, it seems have been portrayed in not so good light.


ƒåυνέ said...

Should it have been allowed to proceed? No.

Does it have a prayer? Unfortunetly, yes.

Ever since the McDonald's coffee incident, I've realized anything is possible. And I've been on the jury of a civil case that was even "worse" then'd be surprised how many people would be sympathetic.

Shannon said...

hi carmi here from micheles!
I think that the case should be thrown out...its just another ploy, in a very greedy world...

Dave said...

Who'd be a lawyer!
Here from Michele's this time.

surcie said...

When I first glanced at the title, I thought I said something about a Blog-Addict's widow! Wonder if anyone's ever blogged himself to death.

MP said...

That's a sad situation for all but I have trouble feeling for anyone but the police in this instance.

Visiting from Michele's

Sue said...

Here from Michele's -- kinda -- like to read your blog on principal anyway :) -- I just had a lengthy rant about this a few days ago on my blog LOL

Free to Be said...

Hello from Michele's.

Another thing that bothers me is that a drunk driver gets less time for killing someone than a person who kills in cold blood. So what's the difference I say.

Last Girl On Earth said...

This case seems like such a waste all the way around. If someone takes the risk of being a crook, they have to take the risk of getting hurt or killed in the process. They should throw it out of court!

Oh, Michele reminded me that I haven't been around in a while. Like you said, life has a way of getting in the way! Hope you are well.

Deb R said...

I think the case should be thrown out. Unfortunately that doesn't mean it will be.

Michele sent me!

Tropical Screamer said...

I think the case should be thrown out.

Our police officers have had a tough job here the last year or so. The ice epidemic is creating monsters that are so out of their minds that it's hard to subdue them.

I'm adding you to my daily read list.

I, too, believe in random acts of kindness. My favorite one used to be paying the bridge toll of the car behind me. :)


P.S. - Hello, Michele sent me.

Karen said...

Oh honestly, this just makes me so mad. Talk about deflecting blame! I think it's just another case of somebody trying to make money because they feel "victimized." I think there was only one victim and it sure sounds like this guy got himself into this predicament...unfortunately.

Michele sent me, but as you know, I stop by all the time!

Plumkrazzee said...

No, it shouldn't have been allowed! What is wrong with our society? Good grief.

WendyWings said...

This sounds like one of those cases where the widow has been advised by sleazy lawyers to sue.
No grounds at all.
Michele sent me today.

Valerie said...

No way she will win that one. Visiting from Michele's

d.challener roe said...

A prayer?!? It'll probably win....

Here from Michele's today

Viamarie said...

Definitely NO!!! They should be ashamed in pursuing the case. This will set a precedent to all those who want to make money.

KaraMia said...

let's hope not

YellowRose said...

Sounds to me like some shady lawyers are trying to take advantage of a widow....makes me ill.

Always love reading your blog Carmi! Here via Michele's tonight!

Yaeli said...

I don't know the full story behind the this incident and therefore I feel illqualified to comment. Obviously any method used to subdue a person detained by police needs to be carefully scrutinised.
The only definite conclusion that I can come to is that more money needs to be put towards prevention of drug use and rehabilitation for users.

Michele sent me.

Robin said...

Do people EVER change? Hardly ever. It's sad. Like Surcie, I thought the heading of this said "Blog-Addict's widow sues" that would make a good story, but I'll bet it's not long before we hear something LIKE this. I'm here from Michele's this evening!

knitti-me said...

Yeah - what they said...

Totally ridiculous!

Here from Michele's today - but I'm a regular.

Karen said...

nope, not a wing or a prayer... thanks for stoppin' by my place.

panthergirl said...

I hate the idea of a taser. Just seems too likely to give someone a heart attack, which is probably what happened here.

This lawsuit is probably unjustified, but as with many lawsuits that seem frivolous, I'd need more facts before really making a judgment.

Still, 2.8MM seems a bit much.

Here via michele tonight!

Pearl said...

I don't know anything more of the case than what you've said but I hope it doesn't go forward. The woman is in grief and anger in a bad situation and the officers and man were as well. The lawyer should be help responsible for encouraging the woman to sue for an already unfortunate situation.