Howd & Ludorf, LLC Wins Summary Judgment for Bloomfield Police Department in Wrongful Death Case.
Howd & Ludorf, LLC Partner, Alan Dembiczak, recently won summary judgment for the Bloomfield Police Department in a wrongful death suit filed by the Estate of Tiana Notice. In the case of Alvin Notice, Administrator of The Estate of Tiana Notice v. Town of Bloomfield, et al, it was alleged that on February 14, 2009, the decedent, Tiana Notice, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend James Carter. Prior to the stabbing, Carter and Notice had prior contacts with the Bloomfield Police department as well as other police departments, and each held a restraining order against the other. The only involvement Bloomfield Police Department had with the two was the investigation of a claim by Carter that Tiana Notice violated the restraining order he held against her. The plaintiff claimed that Bloomfield failed to protect Ms. Notice from Mr. Carter. Plaintiff also alleged that it was, or should have been, apparent to Bloomfield that by their own conduct they affirmatively created and/or materially increased the imminent danger that Carter posed to Tiana. Plaintiff further alleged that Bloomfield failed to arrest and/or detain Carter, failed to conduct a timely and adequate investigation and affirmatively engaged in conduct that materially increased the danger that Carter posed to Notice. Attorney Dembiczak moved for summary judgment on all claims against the Bloomfield defendants arguing that they owed no legal duty to the Notice, that any of their actions and/or omissions were not the legal cause of the decedent’s injuries and the negligence claims were barred by governmental immunity. The court agreed, finding that even when the Bloomfield defendants’ conduct was evaluated in the light most favorable to plaintiff’s claims, there was nothing in the record which would permit a jury to conclude, reasonably and legally, that the Bloomfield defendants subjected Ms. Notice to an apparent risk of imminent harm. Summary judgment entered in favor of the Bloomfield defendants on all counts.