A Fatal Car Wreck and the Texas Tort Claims Act
As Alyssa Johnston reports for the Times Record News, city counselors in one Texas town are now considering settling the wrongful death claims arising out of a fatal car wreck - involving a police car - for the limits of $500,000 under the Texas Tort Claims Act in this kind of case.
The 2011 Accident
Former law enforcement officer Teddie Whitefield was driving his squad car at more than 80 miles per hour when he struck another car, causing the deaths of two teenage girls. One of the girls was pregnant; the accident also resulted in the unborn child's death.
It is unclear whether Whitefield was responding to an emergency or 911 call.
But not only was Whitefield driving extremely fast, but investigators discovered that he had been taking two different types of medications, as Johnston reports.
In car accidents involving emergency responders like Whitefield, the Texas Tort Claims Act specifies certain duties and limitations of liability. The proposed $500,000 settlement in this case - which must be split among the two families of the girls who were killed - arises out of the monetary limitations specified in this Act.
Source: City considers settlement in police car crash that killed 2 teens