In Florida, Mother of Slain Teen Bicyclist Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Police

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 17, 2015 - A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Lee County sheriff's office and against a sheriff's deputy by the mother of a teenager who was killed when his bicycle was struck by a patrol car.

Stephanie Diersing filed the lawsuit over the death of her son, age 15. The teen, of Cape Coral, was riding to school at 6:00 a.m. when the crash occurred.

“If this tragic death was the result of negligence, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate for the family to recover compensation,” said Robert Joyce, a wrongful death attorney with the Tampa firm of Joyce & Reyes. Joyce is not involved in the case.

According to the complaint, Deputy Douglas Edward Hood was driving his patrol vehicle in excess of the legal speed limit and left the roadway while attempting to adjust his laptop's brightness setting. The lawsuit claims that Hood acted with willful disregard of human rights, safety and property in using the laptop while driving.

The accident took place near the corner of Northwest Sixth Place and Kismet Parkway West in Cape Coral. The boy was a freshman at Mariner High School.

In March, Hood was cleared of criminal charges by Circuit Judge J. Frank Porter, who found that there was insufficient evidence that Hood failed to stay within a traffic lane.

The civil suit cites the Florida Wrongful Death Act and claims that the sheriff's office is vicariously responsible for the negligence of the deputy. The suit seeks a jury trial and damages of more than $15,000.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007

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