The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Family of Drunk Woman Sues Police over Death

In December, we wrote that the family of Diana Paz was likely to sue the police for the 25-year-old woman’s death, and last week the lawsuit was finally filed.

Diana Paz had been out drinking in September when she was pulled over by a police for driving the wrong way down the street in the early morning hours. Paz was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and taken to the Westchester Police Department, reports the Chicago Tribune. The police held Paz for a couples hours before she posted bond and was released.

Because Paz had no money, no cell phone, or no way of getting home, the arresting officer decided to drop the young woman off at a nearby gas station where presumably she would call someone to pick her up. Instead of calling for a lift, Paz decided to walk home and was struck and killed by a pickup truck shortly after police left.

Paz's family is now questioning how the police could have left the drunk woman alone in the middle of the night at a gas station when she had no way of getting home. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family will have to show that the police acted negligently or carelessly in leaving the woman alone and that this carelessness caused Paz's death.

The issue in this case will likely revolve around causation and the foreseeability of the harm. Paz's family would likely argue that had police kept Paz at the station until she sobered up, she would likely still be alive today. A pretty strong argument.

On the other hand, the police could defend its actions as being stupid, but not directly responsible for Paz's death. After all, they could not have predicted that Paz would walk home and that a pickup truck driver would strike her.

The family of Diana Paz brought a wrongful death lawsuit, and it will be up to a court to decide who is to blame for the young woman's death.

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