Jury Awards $97 Million in Wrongful Death of Small Town Mayor
The family of Bert Reeves, a former South Carolina mayor who was shot to death by a police officer in his town, has finally found justice. In a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the municipality, a jury awarded a total of $97.5 million to the family.
The damages include $7.5 million in actual damages and $60 million in punitive damages. An additional $30 million of punitive damages were awarded against former police officer Randall Price.
Price, 40, had been hired by the town of Cottageville, S.C. despite a troublesome track record. Over 11 years, Price had been a police officer in 8 different towns. He had been fired for offenses ranging from unsafe driving to criminal domestic violence.
Reeves, 40 at the time of his death, was shot to death by Price along a dirt road in the small town. Disputes between the two had somehow culminated in the officer using deadly force.
The key issue in the wrongful death lawsuit was that Cottageville should never have hired Price in the first place. His record demonstrated that he would be a liability on the police force, yet he was hired anyway.
This case shows that responsible parties can indeed be held responsible for the lethal consequences of their mistakes. Contact your St. Louis personal injury attorney for help if your family has experienced a tragedy.