Argabrite v. NeerAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident allegedly caused by a high-speed police chase. Appellant filed a negligence action against certain police officers, alleging that the officers engaged in a high-speed case of a suspect that ended when Barnhart’s vehicle struck Plaintiff’s vehicle, killing the suspect and seriously injuring Plaintiff. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the officers, concluding (1) as a matter of law, a police officer who pursues a suspect is not the proximate cause of injuries to a third party unless the officer’s conduct is extreme and outrageous; and (2) under this standard, no reasonable juror could conclude that the officers’ actions were the proximate cause of the accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, albeit on different grounds, holding (1) the no-proximate-cause standard applied by the court of appeals in this case is contrary to the express dictates of Ohio Rev. Code 2744.03(A)(6)(b), which provides that law enforcement officers are immune from liability unless they act maliciously, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner; and (2) applying the correct standard set forth in section 2744.03(A)(6)(b), the officers could not be held liable for damages as a result of their actions.