In some cases, personal injuries arise out of the negligent actions of another person or entity. Victims generally have legal recourse against those responsible for their injuries, unless the law provides for immunity or another exception. In a November 28, 2018 Maryland wrongful death case, the plaintiff sued a police officer and police chief, alleging that they negligently caused the death of her daughter. The defendants argued that they were entitled to immunity and could not be sued for damages. After the circuit court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the plaintiff appealed to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
In the case, the victim had called 911 and the police officer was dispatched to her apartment building. The officer attempted to enter the building, but found that the door was locked. He left without making contact with the victim. At some point, the victim went to the roof of her apartment building and either jumped, fell, or was pushed off. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The plaintiff alleged that the police were negligent in failing to investigate the 911 call and failing to enter the building and make contact with the victim. The plaintiff also contended that the police did not provide adequate training or supervision for officers responding to 911 calls. The issues on appeal centered on the public duty doctrine and public official immunity.