A Missouri man who suffered injuries after he was twice run over by a DUI suspect has lost his lawsuit against two police officers who responded to the man’s own alleged DUI related accident.
In late 2002, Michael Dodd was drinking at a bar when he was thrown out for breaking a beer mug, according to police reports. He drove away and was soon discovered allegedly lying on the pavement, half-conscious and with his truck halfway in a ditch. Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Steven Jones and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Thorn soon arrived at the scene, parking with their headlights on and emergency lights flashing. Allegedly fearing a spinal injury, they left Dodd on the pavement until an ambulance arrived.
Soon, another vehicle approached the accident scene. Jones waved his arms and flashlight to fend the driver off, but the truck hit Dodd, who was still on the ground. The driver shifted his vehicle in reverse and ran over Dodd again before he followed the officers’ orders to stop. He subsequently tested at more than twice the Missouri blood alcohol legal limit and was arrested for careless and imprudent driving.
As this was going on, Jones was also attempting to perform a breath test on Dodd, placing the device close to the semi-unconscious man’s mouth and claiming that “he got plenty of air to get a reading” above the legal limit. Jones also asked a paramedic to take a blood sample from Dodd.
Dodd brought suit against the two officers, alleging that they failed to protect him from the other motorist by not setting off road flares or blocking the road with their vehicles, and in fact “placed him in a worse position than what prevailed before they arrived”. He also claimed that the ordered extraction of his blood by the paramedic violated his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
Upholding a lower court’s ruling, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis called Dodd’s claims “too speculative” and found that “the officers plainly did not act with a purpose to harm”, dismissing the lawsuit.
Following the accident, Dodd was charged with careless and imprudent driving, DUI, and driving with a revoked license. Those charges remain unresolved. For assistance regarding your personal injury case, contact Jackson Heights injury attorneys.