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Police Officer Entitled to Immunity Where Collision Occurred with Another Driver While Responding to Emergency Call

In the case of Huber v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 2022-Ohio-3022, the appellate court held that a village was entitled to governmental immunity under R.C. Chapter 2744 in an action brought by a driver who was injured in an accident with a police officer responding to an emergency call.

Here, the driver argued that the police officer operated his vehicle in a willful, wanton, or reckless manner. The village argued that the police officer’s actions were expressly exempt from liability pursuant to R.C. 2744.02(B)(1)(a), which provides a complete defense of immunity to “[a] member of a municipal corporation police department or any other police agency who was operating a motor vehicle while responding to an emergency call and the operation of the vehicle did not constitute willful or wanton misconduct.” The court agreed with the village.

In support of its decision, the appellate court reasoned that the police officer activated his lights and siren and slowed down before entering the intersection, and thus did not operate his vehicle in a willful, wanton, or reckless manner and was therefore entitled to immunity.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.


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