NH Lawyer Blog

Civil Lawsuits Still Possible for Ferguson Police and Officer Wilson

civil lawsuit attorneyJust recently the grand jury in Ferguson opted to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown. But, that does not mean Officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department are out of the woods. In fact, they could face a civil lawsuit in the death of Michael Brown. But, is this possible even after the officer was not indicted?  

Can a Civil Suit be Filed When the Other Person Was Found Not Guilty?

Yes. The family (in this case the parents of Michael Brown), can still sue the party responsible, even if they were not indicted or were found not guilty. Instead of having to prove the officer's guilt (as they would have to in a criminal case), all they have to do is prove that there is adequate evidence to hold the officer liable for the death of their son as well as any associated damages for the death.  

How Strong Will the Case Be?

Because the grand jury did not indict the officer, the Brown's case is not as strong as it would have been if he were charged with a crime. But, just because he wasn't indicted doesn't mean they do not have a chance nor will it stop them from filing their civil suit. While a criminal case would hold the evidentiary proof the officer was guilty, it is not needed to file a suit against him and the police department for Michael Brown's wrongful death.  

Can the Police Department be Sued Too?

While it is obvious the parents would sue Office Darren Wilson, a lot of people are confused about why the parents would also list the police department in their lawsuit (if they end up officially filing). But, even though the police department did not pull the trigger, they do bear some of the responsibility for Brown's death. In the case of Michael Brown, the police department inadequately trained and supervised their officers, which led to Brown's death.  

Legal Obstacles of These Types of Cases

In order for the Brown's to file a lawsuit and succeed, they have to prove that Wilson deliberately caused their son's death-either due to negligence or murder. Because there are reports Brown resisted arrest and possibly even started a fight with the officers, it could be more difficult for the family to prove their case. So, in order to win, they would need to present witnesses proving Brown was surrendering and not resisting arrest at the time he was shot.  

Do You Have a Case for Wrongful Death?

The success of a wrongful death case comes down to two factors: the evidence and the attorney presenting it. You need a skilled personal injury attorney , civil litigation attorney who understands and can help prove your case to a jury or judge. If you feel you have a wrongful death case, contact the attorneys at Lucas Law for a free consultation at 603-581-7102. Related Posts :