Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure

Absent additional evidence, a sheriff's deputy's failure to activate his sirens and lights while responding to an emergency call does not rise to the level of willful and wanton behavior and is, therefore, protected under sovereign immunity.

April 1, 2010
Whitley v. Progressive Insured Ins. Co., 2010 Ohio 356 (Ohio Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2010)

The plaintiff-appellants were injured as a result of the plaintiff's motorcycle collided with a deputy sheriff’s vehicle. The deputy was responding to an emergency call and did not activate his siren, and the record was unclear as to whether he activated his lights. The issue on appeal is whether the deputy sheriff is entitled to summary judgment in his favor under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The appellate court held that the trial court did not err in granting the appellees’ motion for summary judgment. The appellate court held that the record did not illustrate that the deputy's conduct was willful and wanton misconduct as a matter of law. The record did not demonstrate that he failed to exercise any care whatsoever to those to whom he owed a duty of care or that he had an intent, design, or purpose not to perform the duty of care owed. The appellate court, therefore, affirmed the judgment of the trial court in ruling that the deputy was protected under sovereign immunity.

Case Law Alert - 2nd Qtr 2010

Affiliated Attorney

Practice Areas

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."