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Fedster

West Yorkshire Police liable for knocking over elderly woman/Supreme Court judgment: Police no longer immune from being sued for negligence ( topics merged)

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Fedster

Kirkgate

An elderly woman who was knocked to the ground during a drug arrest has won a decade-long legal battle against West Yorkshire Police.

Elizabeth Robinson was injured after being trapped under two "sturdily built" police officers and a suspected drug dealer in Huddersfield in 2008.

Mrs Robinson, who was 76 at the time, argued that the police had breached their duty of care towards her.

The Supreme Court said the force is now liable to pay her damages.

Mrs Robinson, who is now 86, was described in court as "relatively frail" at the time of the incident.

In a written judgement, Supreme Court judge Lord Robert Reed said Mrs Robinson was walking on Kirkgate when she was caught up in a tussle to arrest a man who had been seen dealing drugs in a park.

The men knocked into her and they "all fell to the ground with Mrs Robinson underneath", Lord Reed said.

It was found that the officers involved "had acted negligently" as they could have chosen a safer opportunity to attempt to arrest a man who was at risk of attempting to escape.

Mrs Robinson's solicitor, Helen Grieves, described it as a "very significant" judgment.

West Yorkshire Police has been contacted for comment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-42988972

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SimonT

Not entirely sure police can specifically account for people kicking off and others getting involved, specifically. 

But it's hardly unreasonable for the job to pay out for someone hurt in a police operation. 

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sierragolf95

Great, so can I sue the police for getting the splashback of CS Spray a few years ago? Or do I just suck it up and accept that poo happens.

Naturally for me it's the latter, I only wish the rest of society was the same.

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Pavillion
1 hour ago, Fedster said:

An elderly woman who was knocked to the ground during a drug arrest has won a decade-long legal battle against West Yorkshire Police.

Thats ones tenacious woman, well done her.

 

Well done to Yorkshire Police also for being tenacious also and creating some case law to make peoples understanding of their duty of care easier to argue.

Edited by Pavillion

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Lone Wolf
2 hours ago, SimonT said:

Not entirely sure police can specifically account for people kicking off and others getting involved, specifically. 

But it's hardly unreasonable for the job to pay out for someone hurt in a police operation. 

My understanding is that in order to find in the claimant's favour, the court must have found that the police should have reasonably foreseen the likelihood of the suspect fighting or escaping and therefore causing injury to a third party.

Although it is a significant ruling, it appears to still be confined to particularly narrow circumstances and I can't see how much affect it will have on the general duty of care (or, lack of) that police have for the public.

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Indiana Jones

Does UK tort law allow for the apportioning of blame? eg 20% police and 80% criminal.

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ParochialYokal

It’s funny how when scum bag criminals kick off and get injured that the police often settle punishment of court but when a frail old lady going about her daily business gets injured in a drugs arrest they choose to fight it in court (and create a precedent of sorts).

The Court found that they could have effected the arrest in a more suitable environment, thereby implicitly suggesting that their dynamic risk assessment of the situation was flawed.

If that was my Nan then I would expect her to get a payout.

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JulietAlpha1
1 hour ago, ParochialYokal said:

It’s funny how when scum bag criminals kick off and get injured that the police often settle punishment of court but when a frail old lady going about her daily business gets injured in a drugs arrest they choose to fight it in court (and create a precedent of sorts).

The Court found that they could have effected the arrest in a more suitable environment, thereby implicitly suggesting that their dynamic risk assessment of the situation was flawed.

If that was my Nan then I would expect her to get a payout.

But you can always argue that the criminal shouldn’t have made off or resisted arrest. Where’s their liability?

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Pavillion
1 hour ago, JulietAlpha1 said:

But you can always argue that the criminal shouldn’t have made off or resisted arrest. Where’s their liability?

It might have been no person was a criminal at the time, they were simply suspects.

Edited by Pavillion

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Pavillion
17 hours ago, Lone Wolf said:

My understanding is that in order to find in the claimant's favour, the court must have found that the police should have reasonably foreseen the likelihood of the suspect fighting or escaping and therefore causing injury to a third party.

Where does it say the suspect was fighting or escaping? Are you attempting to justify the officers even though the courts have found they were wrong?

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Pavillion
1 hour ago, JulietAlpha1 said:

But you can always argue that the criminal shouldn’t have made off or resisted arrest. Where’s their liability?

Who said they did resist arrest or try and make off?

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Zulu 22
3 hours ago, JulietAlpha1 said:

But you can always argue that the criminal shouldn’t have made off or resisted arrest. Where’s their liability?

Juliet it is Pavillion and he just posts to wind people up, no other reason as far as I can see. Sad, I know, but there are such people. He never answers questions and just makes comment to provoke. 

Edited by Zulu 22

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Lone Wolf
1 hour ago, Pavillion said:

Where does it say the suspect was fighting or escaping? Are you attempting to justify the officers even though the courts have found they were wrong?

You are presenting as if you have a genuine difficulty in comprehending simple sentences, but your general attitude and behaviour throughout this site betrays the fact that you are deliberately obtuse.  In case I'm wrong this time, I'll elaborate. 

It does not matter if the suspect actually tried to fight or escape if officers made their decision and took their action based on what they knew and what they saw.  I have seen nothing to suggest that they acted improperly or with misconduct, or any finding against them in this respect.  If you have information to the contrary, then I'd encourage you to post it here in the interest of a balanced debate.

I have acknowledged the finding of the court and attempted to rationalise the court's findings.  Yet you somehow twist this to portray me as disagreeing with the court.

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Pavillion
51 minutes ago, Lone Wolf said:

You are presenting as if you have a genuine difficulty in comprehending simple sentences, but your general attitude and behaviour throughout this site betrays the fact that you are deliberately obtuse.  In case I'm wrong this time, I'll elaborate. 

I believe you are wrong, kits simply a style that is contrary to yours and maybe others.

 

52 minutes ago, Lone Wolf said:

t does not matter if the suspect actually tried to fight or escape if officers made their decision and took their action based on what they knew and what they saw.  I have seen nothing to suggest that they acted improperly or with misconduct, or any finding against them in this respect.  If you have information to the contrary, then I'd encourage you to post it here in the interest of a balanced debate.

I do not believe I have suggested in anyway that the officers did anything improper or with misconduct. I simply reiterated the Courts position. Your dislike of my views is tainting you ability to engage with me on this subject.

 

55 minutes ago, Lone Wolf said:

I have acknowledged the finding of the court and attempted to rationalise the court's findings.  Yet you somehow twist this to portray me as disagreeing with the court.

Your attempt was poorly worded and the impression left me with the only option to challenge your view, simple.

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MerseyLLB

Will we be having to request permission to arrest over the air now, with a complimentary DRA?

If this woman is telling the truth I'm disgusted that the force didn't apologise to the woman. 

I'm against any duty of care nonsense but, if that was me, I'd have been straight away back to the lady and help her up...run her to hospital...visit her and take a bunch of flowers!

It's less a legal issue than one of ethics...presumably the force avoided an apology to ironically limit any suggestion of liability.

We creep towards a US litigation state with every day that passes..but if true...the force created a rod for their own back by refusing to apologise?

You can be sorry for something even if you didn't objectively do anything wrong. I'm sorry when I smash a door in to find the occupant safe and well. I'm sorry when I Nick someone who turns out to be innocent. It doesn't mean I'm liable and doesn't mean it wouldn't happen again.

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