Recently, a Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge Ruled that a City Sheriff’s Sergeant was not protected by sovereign immunity when he caused a vehicle accident while transporting inmates in Rafter v. Miller (VLW 013-8-136). 

The sergeant was sued for injuries he caused during a 2011 rear-end accident.  In defending the case, the sergeant attempted to stand behind governmental immunity claiming that, because he was working for the government, he should be protected from suits against the government.

The Circuit Court Judge disagreed.  His reasoning was that because the sergeant was involved in mere “routine” driving, there was nothing about the circumstances (such as inmates exhibiting dangerous behavior) that justified immunity. 

This is an important case because public service employees cause accidents and then try to hide behind sovereign immunity, thereby, prohibiting injured parties from being fully compensated for their injuries. 

If you have any question about sovereign immunity, feel free to give us a call at BenGlassLaw.  You can also check out the article at:

James Abrenio

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