Alabama City Immune in Wrongful Death Suit, Says Judge

March 15, 2010

A Houston County judge has removed the City of Dothan from a lawsuit recently after determining the city is immune from liability in a wrongful death suit.

Circuit Judge Larry Anderson granted summary judgment to the City of Dothan in a wrongful death suit brought by Mary Downing, whose husband was killed by an intoxicated driver in January 2007, just minutes after the driver had been stopped and released by police officers.

The lawsuit alleges police officers should have arrested Tabitha Farmer on the evening of Jan. 13, 2007, for driving under the influence near downtown Dothan.

Attorneys for the city say Alabama law protects the discretionary decisions of officers, so long as those decisions are not made maliciously, fraudulently, or in bad faith.

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