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Driver says her accident deputy's fault(your not going to believe this lawsuit)
http://www.spokesmanreview.com ^ | Monday, August 8, 2005 | Richard Roesler

Posted on 08/08/2005 1:35:01 AM PDT by freepatriot32

OLYMPIA – Three years after getting drunk, blowing through a stop sign and triggering a wreck that left her passenger critically injured, a former Idaho resident has filed a $1.5 million claim against Washington's Pend Oreille County for not detaining her before she caused the crash.

In her claim, Ashlen Lee says that on June 12, 2002, a county sheriff's deputy stopped her truck around 3:30 a.m. and could see that she had been drinking. But after quizzing her, the deputy let the 17-year-old drive away.

The officer said he'd give them a warning," said Lee's attorney, W. Russell Van Camp of Spokane. He said neither young woman was wearing a seat belt.

"Good Lord almighty," the attorney said. "Some kids in a pickup, drinking, and he knew they were drinking? At that hour in the morning? That's reckless endangerment of the public."

Less than an hour after talking with the deputy, Lee blew through a stop sign on Fourth Street, in Oldtown, Idaho. As she crossed Idaho's State Route 41, her Isuzu pickup was struck by a Ford pickup driven by 55-year-old Ronald Barton of Athol. The Isuzu crashed in a ditch.

Lee's passenger, 18-year-old Shaleena Threlkeld, was rushed in critical condition to Spokane's Sacred Heart Medical Center. Lee was also taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. According to the Idaho State Police report, her blood-alcohol content was .11, well over the .08 level that's considered drunken driving.

Lee is now seeking $1.5 million from the county for "pain, suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and wage loss," according to the claim. Van Camp said that Lee has permanent scarring on her face, as well as neck and back injuries.

"Horrendous injuries," Van Camp said.

While acknowledging that the deputy should have stopped Lee from driving, Pend Oreille County Sheriff Jerry Weeks called the suit, "part of the American blame game. People don't want to accept responsibility for their actions, but hey, these guys (the county) have money, so let's go after them and blame them.

"We didn't give her the booze. Her parents gave her the car," he said. "When does the blame stop?"

Van Camp said the deputy showed "egregious and unfortunate negligence."

He acknowledged, though, that Lee had been drinking in the truck, and that she caused the accident.

"So she deserved what she got? No, no, no," he said. "We have the police to protect all of us, even young children who are making stupid mistakes. If she was running down the middle of the street, he should have stopped her. The police officer has the duty to protect the public, even from themselves."

Efforts to contact Lee, who now lives in Puyallup, Wash., were unsuccessful.

Weeks confirmed that a deputy had, in fact, stopped Lee's vehicle, spoken with her, and let her drive off.

The case started with a complaint about a noisy party at a local house, he said. A dispatcher woke up the deputy at home and sent him to check on the disturbance.

Among the partiers, the deputy found a youth with an outstanding arrest warrant. He took the boy into custody, but when placed in the back of the police car, the boy started kicking out the windows.

Around the same time, the deputy talked to Lee and Threlkeld.

"It's not disputed that they had been drinking. He was aware of it," said Weeks, who would not name the deputy. "I'm not going to make any excuses for him. But there were some mitigating circumstances."

The deputy – who still works for the department – should have detained Lee and Threlkeld as well, and called their parents, Weeks said. In fact, deputies had been trained on minor-in-possession situations just a few weeks before, he said.

The deputy was disciplined, he said, although he wouldn't elaborate. Also, he said, "this deputy's had to live with that personal consequence (the crash) ever since."

Weeks said that the county has already paid a related claim made by Threlkeld, although he wouldn't say how much was paid. Van Camp said the amount paid out was more than $1 million.

Threlkeld could not be reached for comment.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 20somethingslist; accident; believe; damm; deathcultivation; deputys; donutwatch; driver; drunkdriver; fault; going; govwatch; her; lawsuit; madd; not; olympia; says; this; to; tortreformnow; washington; your
so how is that contract with america coming along? You know the one that says something about tort reform ?
1 posted on 08/08/2005 1:35:03 AM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; Bernard; BJClinton; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
2 posted on 08/08/2005 1:35:47 AM PDT by freepatriot32 (Deep within every dilemma is a solution that involves explosives)
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To: aculeus; dighton; Lijahsbubbe; general_re; martin_fierro
In her claim, Ashlen Lee says that on June 12, 2002, a county sheriff's deputy stopped her truck around 3:30 a.m. and could see that she had been drinking. But after quizzing her, the deputy let the 17-year-old drive away.

The officer said he'd give them a warning," said Lee's attorney, W. Russell Van Camp of Spokane. He said neither young woman was wearing a seat belt.

Hmmm, any guesses as to what the "W" stands for?

3 posted on 08/08/2005 1:42:00 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal (Wisely investing in quality tin foil wardrobe basics since 1998)
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To: freepatriot32

Very quizzical that either one would get a red cent from the county unless it was to head off an even more expensive to defend court battle. The Screams have already said that we cannot expect zip from the kopz.


4 posted on 08/08/2005 1:42:23 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (No wonder the Southern Baptist Church threw Greer out: Only one god per church! [Ann Coulter])
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To: freepatriot32
I have one thing to say about cases like this. Not only should this ignorant woman lose her suit, so should her lawyer. If the lawyer doesn't wind up having to pay money for filing a frivolous law suit, and having a complaint made against him, then there is no justice.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "The Washington Post Doesn't Have a Clue about Government Under a Written Constitution"

5 posted on 08/08/2005 1:42:25 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush's SECOND appointment obey the Constitution? I give 95-5 odds on yes.)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: freepatriot32

W. Russell Van Camp of Spokane should be removed from the Bar or shot or both. He is definitely in the running for the ACLU lawyer of the year


8 posted on 08/08/2005 1:58:00 AM PDT by msnimje
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: freepatriot32

Totally believable from Washington State!....Home of the giant statue of Lenin in Fremont!.....


10 posted on 08/08/2005 2:26:00 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Thinkin' Gal

Whiplash?


11 posted on 08/08/2005 2:26:12 AM PDT by D-fendr
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
Totally believable from Washington State!....Home of the giant statue of Lenin in Fremont!.....

A Lenin statue? Oh, Wow! Something to blow up! :-)

12 posted on 08/08/2005 2:38:17 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Graham Petrie, 1911 - 2005: Rest in Peace.)
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To: freepatriot32

well... considering that some states hold bars responsible for the same kind of thing, she might be able to pull this suit off.


13 posted on 08/08/2005 2:50:04 AM PDT by King Prout (and the Clinton Legacy continues: like Herpes, it is a gift that keeps on giving.)
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To: Squantos
I don't remember how many times the local police departments cut us some slack. Having a beer bust at the lake, up in the mountains, or just out screwing around. If they would have run us in every time they had cause there would be no way I would have a job requiring a security clearance now. Poor judgment on the part of me as a 16, 17 or 18 year old and I would have paid for the it rest of my life! I learned a lesson from all of that, I have not had so much as a speeding ticket in so long I can't remember when it was.
14 posted on 08/08/2005 2:52:55 AM PDT by SLB ("We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us." C. S. Lewis)
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To: freepatriot32

I think they should post a deputy at her home 100% of the time to bird-dog her 24/7 to ensure she doesn't get into any more trouble. If shes buys french fries, he needs to know them out of her hand; if she lights up a smoke, he needs to slap it out of her mouth, if she tries to have unprotected sex, he needs to run the guy off at gunpoint. Eventually, she might discover the magnitude of what she is claiming the police should do for her.


15 posted on 08/08/2005 4:35:02 AM PDT by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: freepatriot32
I agree with the Department's decision to discipline the Deputy. It is a mistake on his part to let a minor drive after having been drinking without first conducting Field Sobriety Testing. The article states he quizzed her so I am assuming he did not do SFSTs. Yes there were other factors that contributed (i.e. the warrant, unruly prisoner) that is why I think he wasn't released from duty.

The lawsuit is dumb. People do not want to take responsibility for their actions. I am sick of hearing that classic line "The cops drive around the neighborhood and get us in trouble." I'm sure the officers caused you to break the law.
16 posted on 08/08/2005 4:48:44 AM PDT by WI 157 ("see with eyes unclouded")
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To: freepatriot32

Somebody tried a suit like this in GA years ago - was slapped down with derision by the court of appeals.


17 posted on 08/08/2005 4:50:29 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: freepatriot32

IANAL but I don't think the cops are legally obliged to act in any specific situation.


18 posted on 08/08/2005 5:01:59 AM PDT by Graymatter
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To: King Prout

I believe there is also an issue of legal liability for the owner of the house, but you don't read about that, either. Why not sue them? Why not sue this girl's parents, since she was a minor and they're responsible for her? Oh, that's right, just sue the police. What a disgrace. This girl ought to be grateful that no one was killed.


19 posted on 08/08/2005 5:06:06 AM PDT by GraceCoolidge
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To: freepatriot32

This is great, America. Just keep forcing the nanny state to protect us from ourselves. How long until we have to ask Washington permission to take a day off from work or to go to the restroom?

Maybe we should start suing people like Miss Lee for eroding our rights, wasting taxpayer money, and for damages done to society because she is just plain stupid.


20 posted on 08/08/2005 5:47:24 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: freepatriot32


She's going to win too.


21 posted on 08/08/2005 5:57:47 AM PDT by golfboy (character is doing what is right, when no one is looking)
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To: freepatriot32; All
The lawyer pushing this is a real piece of work . . .

Spokane's W. Russell Van Camp Reprimanded

-snip-
At glacier speed, the WSBA reacts to complaints of unethical or improper conduct. Meanwhile, questionable attorneys are free to make "errors" over and over at the expense and/or risk of consumers. Recall that W. Russell Van Camp was suspended in 2002 for violations involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, meritorious claims and contentions, and candor toward the tribunal. The bar also lists that Van Camp was reprimanded in January 2005 but they don't say why (online disciplinary notices as of 05/01/05).
-snip-

From http://www.lawyerethics.org/mt/archives/001070.html
22 posted on 08/08/2005 6:00:52 AM PDT by BraveMan
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To: freepatriot32

What about countersuing her parents for failure to control?


23 posted on 08/08/2005 6:04:19 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: freepatriot32

When my daughter was acting totally dysfunctional, I was aware of at least one similar incident. No one was hurt but I was furious with the cop. I do think he had some culpability. Cops want to be buddies of the young folks so maybe that's the motive but the other motive is that it takes a long time to process a juvenile. If it's close to the end of a shift, the cop is not going to want to have anything to do with it. I think this guy should at least lose his job.


24 posted on 08/08/2005 6:04:37 AM PDT by Mercat (God loves us where He finds us.)
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To: Thinkin' Gal

Winner?


25 posted on 08/08/2005 6:06:58 AM PDT by rabidralph
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: SLB; Horatio Gates; Larry Lucido; Cap'n Crunch

If she was indeed officially "warned" it is almost every single department in the conus's policy to issue a warning ticket. Every stop, regardless of how small, that a LEO calls in a plate number, 29/29 wants and warrants is run, a minimum of a field interview with license data etc is recorded.

Do they have that on record ?


27 posted on 08/08/2005 6:54:54 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos; SLB; Horatio Gates; Cap'n Crunch

There should be something documenting the stop and disposition, even if only a log entry. Always a bad idea to have someone drive off in a questionable state. I was taught if ya wanna give someone a break, then get them a ride home or make sure they can't find their keys (known a couple officers who would throw the keys in the ditch - not my style but it worked).

I presume that, if the officer had decided to arrest the driver, and she put up any kind of a fight and got hurt, then the parents would have been completely understanding, thankful and supporting. And there certainly would have been no talk at all of "false arrest." (OK, sarcasm off)


28 posted on 08/08/2005 7:51:02 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Congressman Billybob
...there is no justice.
29 posted on 08/08/2005 7:54:26 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: freepatriot32
"The police officer has the duty to protect the public, even from themselves."

Not according to the US Supreme Court.

30 posted on 08/08/2005 7:55:57 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: pageonetoo
Yes, there is. :-)


31 posted on 08/08/2005 8:07:48 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
,,,and I forgot about...


32 posted on 08/08/2005 8:18:41 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: Larry Lucido; Squantos; SLB; Horatio Gates; Cap'n Crunch; TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig

This is one of those situations where it would have been prudent to take the kid home if DUI wasn't the route to take here. We actually have an SOP for this regarding minors. Arrest isn't mandatory but at a minimum I would have lost some pay if I did the same thing. Who hasn't been bit on the a$$ at least once when trying to give someone a break?


33 posted on 08/08/2005 8:20:28 AM PDT by Horatio Gates (It's time to grab the mull(ah) by the horns.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I know you did not comment on the $1 million plus settlement by the estate of the passenger, assuming because you realize she had a slam dunk case. Under Washington law, the drunk driver has an interesting case. The deputy knew or should have known the driver was drunk and not arresting her was negligent in the same way that a bartender knows or should know a drunk is about to get behind the wheel of a car. Washington law permits the state and any of its subdivions to be sued in the same manner as if it was an ordinary person.

Also under Washington law, the deputy created a 'special relationship' with the drunk driver when he stopped her and realized she was drunk. Under Washington law, she actually does have a cause of action. Obviously no law can take into account all the possibilities that might arise under the law.

If she has a case, a jury might very find in her favor; and make a very, very small award of maybe around one dollar.

34 posted on 08/08/2005 8:55:16 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: Horatio Gates; Larry Lucido; TEXASPROUD

Yep.....

Some folks just seem to have their head up the wrong end of the gift horse in such situations. A DUI these days can cost up to 16K minimum when all is said and done and that is just the cash aspect. Then theres the employer, friends, family, and neighbors etc.....or death or severe injuries as in this case.

But parents should be sure to sue the LEO that trys to give their little "Gotti like Wiggers" a break .....I didn't, I don't and I wont.

Risk managers and supervisors these days don't look kindly at the Andy Griffin style of policing. SOP is there for a reason and after seeing too many of my other deputies get fired or time off it wasn't even a second thought to not follow it in each and every case.



35 posted on 08/08/2005 9:09:24 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Congressman Billybob
The Washington State Bar Association is a rather interesting organization. The Legislature created the Washington Bar Association as an agency of the state. Here is the statute. take special notice of the severability clause:

RCW 2.48.010
Objects and powers.

There is hereby created as an agency of the state, for the purpose and with the powers hereinafter set forth, an association to be known as the Washington State Bar Association, hereinafter designated as the state bar, which association shall have a common seal and may sue and be sued, and which may, for the purpose of carrying into effect and promoting the objects of said association, enter into contracts and acquire, hold, encumber and dispose of such real and personal property as is necessary thereto.

[1933 c 94 § 2; RRS § 138-2.]

NOTES:

Severability -- 1933 c 94: "If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this act or any rule adopted thereunder, is for any reason held unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this act nor of any other rule adopted hereunder. The legislature hereby declares that it would have passed this act, and each section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional." [1933 c 94 § 17.]

As one can see, the Bar Association is an agency of the state, however for over 70 years, it represented itself to be a private organization. When the state auditor wanted to audit its books several years ago, the bar association refused to allow it on the basis that is was a private organization. Once the bar association realized the problems that would create, it then claimed to be an 'administrative arm of the state supreme court', a position upheld by a majority of the justices of the state supreme court. I issuing that ruling, the state supreme court said the state had no authority to audit the Washington State Bar Association.

As one can readily see, there is a huge problem. If the Bar association is an agency of the state, it is a part of the executive branch. Huge separation of powers problems are obvious. what we have, in reality, in the state of Washington is there is a private organization that regulates the practice of law within the state.

It gets worse. Judges must be members of the Washington State Bar Association. In other words, those who control the Bar Association can go after a sitting judge for any reason or no reason; or ignore the corruption by judges.

I personally also have problems with Commissions on Judicial conduct, especially when they are dominated, in numbers, by appointees of a governor. there have been two politically motivated CJC actions against WA SC Justice Richard Sanders because he actually stands up for the rule of law and the Washington and federal constitutions. The last complaint against him was made public on the day before the start of the filing period in which his position was up for re-election.
36 posted on 08/08/2005 9:20:04 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: bvilletxhunt
The only reason I believe the Lee family has a reasonable law-suit against the Police Department is because the young girl was a minor. If Miss Lee was an adult the officer could use the argument that the woman passed a judgmental sobriety test and could be released. But, I believe the fact that this girl was a minor and the cop admits to pulling her over and knowing she was drinking makes this a different case. Therefore it would no effect on Big Tobacco and Gun manufacture lawsuits.

I live in this neck of the woods so before everyone crucifies this cop, you need a little background on Old Town ID, and the cops around here. This is not LA or KC or NYC. It is a sparsely populated are of North Idaho.

This cop was awakened from his slumber and out of his duty to the public went to see if he could appease the situation. He was not on duty. Chances are that late at night it is very hard to get a hold of the Sheriff's department short of a 911 call. Old Town ID, and Newport WA, are pretty much the same little town. There are very few deputies period, never mind it is 3 o'clock in the morning! Jusisdiction overlaps from the two states. Chances are he knew the girl and her parents and in his opinion she was not impaired enough she couldn't drive. I am certain he told her in no uncertain terms to get her little butt home. The only reason he let her go was because he had another little hellion in the back of his car, who was doing his best to tear up the car. It was likely next to impossible to get backup, at that time of the morning, so in his judgment he needed to get the other little angel to detention before he hurt himself trying to destroy the cop car. If the teen in the car had gotten himself hurt they would string this officer up by his toenails.

It is also more than likely this girl did not do what the officer advised and continued running around an partying, consuming more alcohol until she was impaired. The fact this officer was not fired goes a long way to explaining what happened that night.

Old Town has a population of less than 1000 residents. It is a very small rural community. Everyone knows everyone else. Was it bad judgment? Of course, given what occurred. Should this little bit@h and her parents be holding the officer and the sheriff responsible? Hardly!


37 posted on 08/08/2005 10:18:40 AM PDT by Allosaurs_r_us (I can't use the cell phone in the car. I have to keep my hands free for making obscene gestures)
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