While we recognize that the overwhelming majority of police officers in the United States do their jobs well, we also know that there are times when bad decisions are made by law enforcement personnel. When that happens, people can get hurt or even killed.
Last November, Aleah Jenkins, a 24-year-old woman, was arrested after being pulled over for an expired vehicle registration due to an outstanding warrant. While in the scene, Jenkins became very ill and vomited. She was not medically evaluated at the scene of the arrest. Jenkins died six days after her arrest. Today, we want to look into what happened with her case. When you need a San Diego wrongful death attorney, Edward “Skip” Babbitt is ready to take your case.
What Happened Here?
Aleah Jenkins died due to “extremely high levels of methamphetamine in her system,” say prosecutors looking into whether or not the San Diego police officer who arrested Jenkins would be liable for her death.
Medical personnel were called off at the scene of the arrest because Jenkins claimed that she was only suffering from an upset stomach because she was pregnant, which she was not. While being processed at the jail, Jenkins passed out and was transported to UCSD Medical Center. She died nine days later.
After reviewing the facts of the case as well as over an hour of officer body camera footage, the DAs office made the choice not to criminally prosecute the officers involved.
However, that does not mean that Jenkins’ family cannot bring a civil wrongful death case against the department or officers. In many cases of police mistreatment and police excessive use of force, it is discovered that even though a person’s level of negligence may not rise to a criminal level, they still shared responsibility for what happened.
Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death cases arise with a person, group, or agency’s negligent or careless actions contribute to the death of another person. Their actions do not necessarily have to be willful for a wrongful death case to be present.
Some common ways we see these cases arise include:
- Drunk driver vehicle crashed
- Distracted driver vehicle crashes
- Workplace incidents
- Surgical mistakes
- Medication errors
- Misdiagnosis or delayed treatment
- Dog Attacks
- Deaths in the commission of a crime
Please know that this is not a complete list of wrongful death case possibilities. You should always consult with an attorney when deciding what steps to take with your case.
What You Can Do Now
If you have lost a loved one due to another person or group’s negligence, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Edward “Skip” Babbitt will investigate your case and help you plan your next steps. You may be eligible for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Loss of companionship damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages