FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
April 25, 2012 Damian Mallard (941) 952-1682
SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT TO BE SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE RESULTING IN DRUNK DRIVING, DEATH OF FEMALE JOGGER
SARASOTA—Mallard Perez announced today their intentions to sue the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department on behalf of their client for negligent actions resulting in her death.
On January 7, Donna Chen was jogging on the side of the road, when she was hit by a drunk driver, Blake Talman, and dragged to her death. Talman, along with two others, had earlier been confronted by police officers while drinking on the beach who allegedly instructed the gentlemen to “go home or go to jail.”
“We believe the actions of the deputies were negligent and careless by directing these gentlemen to drive home under the influence, and unfortunately, at the cost of my client’s life,” said Damian Mallard, lead attorney on the case.
The suit contends the deputies created a “zone of risk of injury” by directing an obviously intoxicated Talman, who was holding car keys to leave the beach or be arrested. In addition, Talman failed to stop at an intersection, hit a vehicle, and then fled the scene of that accident where he lost control of the vehicle and struck Donna Chen, killing her.
“This is a very serious situation. It is not about financial restitution for this family; it is about public safety and holding the Sheriff’s department accountable for their actions that night, to ensure this tragic incident does not happen again or to another family,” said Mallard.
By state law in Florida, it is required that the Sheriff and/or Sheriff’s office be given six months’ notice prior to their being sued. This lawsuit will officially be filed six months from the “notice of intent to sue” which will be given on April 25, 2012.
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