Graham v. Lambert, et al
|Case Link||View Now|
|Attorney for the Case||Joe Tunstall|
|Amicus Brief Writers||Abraham Rubert-Schewel|
|Court||NC Supreme Court|
A law enforcement officer struck and killed a pedestrian while responding to a call. The officer was both speeding and (according to body cam footage) distracted by his in-car computer at the time of the collision. Other officers were set to arrive before the officer in question, who was responding on a non-emergency basis without his sirens or blue lights activated.
Defendants moved for summary judgment on the issue of gross negligence. Although the trial court denied this motion, the Court of Appeals reversed. Plaintiff appealed based on a dissent, and a subsequent PDR filed by Defendants was granted on an issue related to the sufficiency of the pleadings regarding waiver of immunity.
NCAJ filed an amicus brief on the gross negligence issue. Citing statistics about the dangers of both speeding and distracted driving, NCAJ argued that the combination of these two factors is particularly dangerous. The brief contends that the gross negligence issue should be decided by a jury where the officer “is not in an emergency situation, is not using his lights or sirens, is speeding, deviates from his lane of travel multiple times, and is repeatedly distracted by an electronic device, including at the time of impact.”