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Criminals & Cops Sue

Here’s a case of dueling cops and robbers, only they are duking it out in the court of law – and not against one another. Instead, they are each targeting law-abiding citizens.

In New Mexico, the wife of an armed robber is suing the man who shot her husband because she claims that her husband, after pulling a gun on the victim, didn’t really intend to kill him. The innocent victim was apparently supposed to somehow know this and just turn over the cash he had and assume all would be well. The widow’s attorney claims that regardless of the fact there were two robbers against one victim, and robbers pulled a gun first, the victim has no right to assume his life might be in jeopardy.

The widow is not only suing the victim who had the nerve to defend himself, she’s also suing the victim’s boss because he apparently never should have allowed the victim to work since he owned a gun. She is also suing the city, claiming that she was held against her will for the act of being questioned the crimes her husband committed. The city has taxpayers to pay legal fees to get the lawsuit thrown out. The man whose life was threatened has to pay his own legal fees against this baseless lawsuit.

Meanwhile, in Texas, a deputy is suing the family of a man he shot and killed because they called 911 for help. He believes the widow owes him $200,000 because he suffered minor injuries in the scuffle and mental anguish for doing his job.

So, in New Mexico, you’ll be sued for not calling the police fast enough when a gun is being held to your head, and the cops in Texas will sue you for calling the police to help deal with a perceived threat. I guess that just being a law-abiding citizen is the only way to lose these days.

16 Responses to “Criminals & Cops Sue”

  1. Bitter says:

    I guess I should say that I don’t know for a fact that both the victim in the New Mexico case & the wife in the Texas case are perfect angels. However, neither one appears to be facing any kind of criminal charges related to their actions in the cases where they are being sued. Rather, they are being sued specifically for taking reasonable steps of either defending their life or calling for help.

  2. Jack says:

    Remember the police are there to protect you!

    Unless they get minor injuries or mental anguish.

    Clearly, you should just trust any and all violent attackers and only call the police after they’ve have their way with you. Provided you survived.

  3. Andy B. says:

    “The widow’s attorney claims that regardless of the fact there were two robbers against one victim, and robbers pulled a gun first, the victim has no right to assume his life might be in jeopardy.”

    As a past “expert” witness in civil cases, I know that attorneys are never embarrassed to make even the most outlandish claims in support of their clients’ positions. I think that applies in both these cases.

    A practical consideration may be whether any bias can be expected in the jury pool. Juries that sympathize with the plaintiff, regardless of what they did or didn’t do, and want to give them large awards, will accept almost any justifying argument.

  4. Ron says:

    So then SOMEONE actually expected the Deputy to act as more than a post incident responder!!! Perish the thought! The nerve of some people,,,,,,,

    I got a message for Deptuy Barney Fife,,,,, get a real job at McDonalds because anything over french fries seems to be a weeeee bit too much for you. YMMV.

  5. CarlosT says:

    The New Mexico case is a fine example of why states such as Florida modified their self defense laws to provide civil immunity.

  6. Knoxville says:

    If there was any true justice in NM, the judge would dismiss the case with prejudice, make the plaintiff pay all the defendant’s legal fees, and award him punitive damages from the estate of the dead robber for infliction of emotional distress.

    • Andy B. says:

      While agreeing in spirit and emotion, I recall that my attorney friends have told me how bad ideas like that are, because the rich and powerful (e.g., corporations) would use it to crush and impoverish the ordinary person who tried to challenge them in court. I myself have mixed emotions, but I do see how the justice of it would depend strongly on whose ox was being gored.

      • Alpheus says:

        I could see that, but at best, the situation will likely be moot: as it currently stands, corporations can bring up lawsuits, even frivolous ones, against an individual or small company, over and over again, and drain the companies assets away through legal fees.

        I don’t see an easy way to diffuse the possibility of preventing corporations from becoming legal bullies…

  7. Codisimo says:

    I know the term I am about to use is totally made up, but NM is very criminal centric. By that I mean, there is a ton of sympathy for criminals here. Several factors create this environment. A. Because the of the size of the population, pretty much every family has a close friend or relative that has either spent time in County jail or in the state prison system. If cousin Ramon isn’t a bad guy, none of those other criminals could be a bad guy either, right? B. When California changed their probation and parole rules sometime ago, they revised them to say that if you live more than one state away, you no longer have to register once you get out of jail. Consequently, criminals get out of jail, stay the minimum amount of time they are required to in California and then move here. That managed to add onto an organized criminal culture that has literally existed since before the territory was a state. I have seen judges here dismiss cases because the prosecuting officer was testifying in another judges courtroom.

    My outrage at the suit being filed is coupled with the fear of its success.

  8. Andy B. says:

    “pretty much every family has a close friend or relative that has either spent time in County jail or in the state prison system.”

    What do they typically go to jail for? It sounds paradoxical that the state is “criminal-centric” and yet almost every family has had someone in jail.

    But that said, I’m not sure that is so different from here (PA). It would depend on how far you wanted to extend the definition of “family.”

    • Codisimo says:

      Mostly drug related offenses, trafficking, manufacture, dealing, the associated property crime that goes along with abuse and addiction. You know, the normal. Property crime has gotten so bad that the local PD has started setting up Bait HOUSES.

      The entire state has around two million people. A little less than half of that live in the Albuquerque Metro area. The crazy thing is that you almost can’t work or socialize without being two or three degrees of separation from anyone else in town. Or at least that is how it feels.

      • Andy B. says:

        Actually that still doesn’t sound too different from these parts.

        I have one relative who should have gone to prison for dealing, but had the resources for a good defense and got off lightly; another family we are close friends with has a son who has been in jail several times for “related” offenses; and the close “friend of a friend” has been in prison for a couple years now for growing for his own medical use (really!). So those are three I’m relatively close to, just off the top of my head.

        I will now knock on wood before saying, while drug abuse is fairly high around here, property crime (IMO) is not too bad. Property crime seems to be more closely associated with “generations” of young adults (15 – 25) that still seem to come in waves, thanks to the history of local development; i.e., people moving in with or having young kids all at the same time, and then the kids grow up. Thirty-five years ago property crime was pretty bad, then it just got better.

    • Zermoid says:

      I must say I did have an uncle who did time, for what I don’t remember.
      My daughter dated a guy who was in jail, and while she was dating him he held up a store and is now back in prion, and thank God is still not family!
      Currently know several people who have done time for DUI offenses, but they aren’t family.

  9. Carl from Chicago says:

    Based on those descriptions, what we have here are two counts of sheer inanity.

  10. divemedic says:

    This is why many employers and business owners have “no guns” policies. Defending oneself from a lawsuit is expensive. The thing is, you can’t sue the business owner for the act of a criminal that enters the premises.
    It becomes a no brainer: prohibit weapons, protect yourself from lawsuits. If your guests or employees get shot, it isn’t your problem.

  11. Zermoid says:

    Ok, first case is just stupid and should be laughed out of court in a heartbeat.

    Second case is pretty much the same, people don’t generally call the cops if someone is quoting Ghandi and farting rainbows now do they? What did this wahoo think being a cop involved? Polite societal tea parties and intellectual discussions?

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