Saturday, January 8, 2011

Motorcycle Riders Hurt or Killed by Drunk Cop should get Punitive Damages says Cincinnati Attorney

This is a sad story of a drunk cop killing and injuring motorcyclists.
The families involved are suffering and are rightfully angry. The cop may get away with being drunk.

An Indianapolis police officer struck and killed a motorcyclist tested positive for alcohol at the time of the crash, police confirmed. Multiple sources close to the investigation told 6News that blood test results for Officer David Bisard show the officer registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit

Eric Wells, 30, was killed Friday morning when Bisard, who was on duty and responding to a call with his lights and sirens on, said he was unable to avoid striking two motorcycles at 56th Street and Brendon Way South Drive.

Witnesses said three motorcycles were stopped at the light and couldn't get out of the way in time. Kurt Weekly, 44 and Mary Mills, 47, both on the other bike that was hit, were in critical and stable condition at Methodist Hospital, respectively.

6News' Jack Rinehart received a text message from Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi on Tuesday afternoon saying he was told by the crime lab that the officer was drunk, but that he won't see the report until Wednesday morning.

Police Chief Paul Ciesielski said in a statement that the investigation is ongoing.

In an interview with 6News Wednesday morning, Ciesielski said he's upset about the latest negative incident involving an Indianapolis officer.

"This was a shock to us. … I can tell you that this is being treated like any other person. The investigation is all above board," said Indianapolis Metro Police Chief Paul Ciesielski.

Police said Bisard is a nine-year veteran of the department. He and his K-9 partner were not seriously injured in the crash.

George Burt, 57, was the only motorcyclist involved in the incident to walk away from Friday's crash. He attended Wells' funeral Tuesday.
Burt was on the other motorcycle that was not hit by Bisard, investigators said. He watched as his friends were thrown to the ground.

"Now it makes sense. It wasn't making sense before," Burt said. "It made no sense. How could this happen?
Burt's emotions have swung from considering forgiveness to anger.
"This guy was drunk. This guy was a public servant. He wasn't supposed to be drunk," Burt said.

But it got even worse as the alchohol related charges were dropped because the police did not follow the correct procedures. Poor crash scene management and conflicting policies within the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department led to the botched investigation into the fatal crash involving Officer David Bisard, according to an internal affairs investigation.

Mayor Greg Ballard, Public Safety Director Frank Straub and Police Chief Paul Ciesielski held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to release details of the 47-page report by the department's Professional Standards Division, headed by Deputy Chief Valerie Cunningham.

Read Full Report

Cunningham outlined the events of Aug. 6, when police said Bisard was drunk on duty when he plowed into a group of motorcyclists stopped at a red light, killing one and severely injuring two others.

She said investigators found that Bisard marked on duty that morning, but was unaccounted for more than two hours before he voluntarily responded to help serve a warrant.

Cunningham said Bisard was operating with lights and sirens running, in violation of department policy, and was also sending and receiving messages not related to police business on laptop in his vehicle, also a violation of policy.

According to a statement Bisard made on the scene, he said he looked down, looked back up and hit his brakes but was unable to stop before hitting the motorcyclists, police said.

In a civil case the evidence still may be admissable. Also in Ohio you can sue for punitive damages (punishment damages) in addition to compensatory damages. Unfortunately punitive damages are not covered by insurance, but if the defendant has assets you can go after them.

Injured in Ohio by a drunk Driver call Cincinnati Motorcycle accident and personal injury attorney Anthony Castelli 1-800-447-6549 to get your questions answered