LOS ANGELES, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — On June 11, 2018, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court grant of a motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death case, where a schizophrenic man was shot and killed by Newport Beach’s police department. “What’s unique about this Court of Appeal’s decision is they extended the American Disability Act’s (ADA) protections to police shooting cases,” said PARRIS Law Firm attorney, Khail Parris.
According to the appellate panel’s opinion on May 29, 2014, Newport Beach police officers responded to a call about a man behaving erratically and brandishing a pair of scissors at a 7-Eleven. At the time, Gerrit Vos was mentally unstable and suffering from a severe psychotic break. “The officers acknowledged they knew he was mentally ill, they clearly knew he was suicidal, and yet officers made no attempt to contact Gerrit or talk him down,” said Parris.
According to the complaint, Vos suffered from multiple mental disabilities including depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, and paranoid delusions. The complaint alleges officers had plenty of time to prepare for Vos’ exit from the store and to use non-lethal force to subdue him. “From the moment officers knew they were dealing with a person suffering from a psychotic break, they knew they had the resources immediately available to use non-lethal force,” said Parris.
According to the appellate panel’s opinion, the officer ordered his officers to shoot Vos. He testified that his command was intended for the officer who was aiming the less than lethal weapon at Voss as he exited the store. “Two out of eight officers were armed with AR-15 rifles. These officers obeyed the command to shoot Gerrit. Our police do not shoot people on command in America,” Parris added. “The appellate panel’s opinion addresses the need for police officers to recognize when people are mentally ill, and for them to make reasonable accommodations to avoid killing them when possible,” Parris concluded.
About PARRIS Law Firm
Over the past 33 years, PARRIS Law Firm has represented families affected by catastrophic injuries as a result of someone else’s careless actions. PARRIS Law Firm, a Los Angeles County-based business, has secured numerous multi-million dollar victories for their clients, including a historic, record-breaking defamation jury verdict in Los Angeles for $370 million, a $135 million wage-and-hour class action settlement, and a $53 million jury verdict for their client who was catastrophically injured in a big rig accident. Considered one of the top Personal Injury, Employment, and Environmental law firms in the country, PARRIS Law Firm has the proven skill and track record to help families in need. For more information, visit parrislawyers.com.
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