Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Palm Beach Deputy
Recently, the wrongful death civil lawsuit began in federal court against a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputy who is accused of using unnecessary force in the death of a local man. On one side, the man’s family says that the deputy shot their loved one once he was already subdued. On the other side, the police claim that the man was out of control and that force was necessary.
Facts of the Case
Most of the facts are undisputed in this wrongful death case. Richard Montero, 44, was drunk at the wheel in April 2010 when he was stopped at the intersection of Summit Boulevard and Jog Road in West Palm Beach just after 6:00 a.m. The deputies found him asleep at the wheel and called his ex-girlfriend to give him a ride home, telling him that his car was going to be towed.
At this point, Mr. Montero became enraged with the officers and became combative. The police got him into one handcuff but he continued to resist. Both police officers shot him with their Tasers, and it is here that the two parties’ stories’ diverge.
Arguments of the Parties
According to the family of Richard Montero one deputy, Victor Blackman, finally got Mr. Montero subdued on the ground. As he was finishing putting the handcuffs on Mr. Montero, his partner, Deputy Ramesh Nandlal, pulled out his gun and shot him at short range. The lawyer for the Montero family argued in court that “”He couldn’t get up and move anymore, he was done. [Nandlal said] ‘If you don’t stop struggling, I’m going to shoot you.’ … He shot him right there point blank.”
In addition, Richard Montero was a relatively small man, out of shape, and walked with a limp. He was not a threat to the police physically, and it was argued that Deputy Nandlal simply got tired of Mr. Montero’s behavior and shot him out of annoyance.
The lawyer for Deputy Nandlal disagrees and argued that the officer’s actions were justified. At the time of the shooting, the deputy feared for his life and the incident was taking place in a public space, where others may be in danger. He claimed that at the time of the shooting Mr. Montero was not subdued and tried to engage in a hand fight with the police. Deputy Nandlal was cleared of all criminal charges and still works for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Now
If your loved one was killed because of the negligent or reckless act of another person, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator can be a good first step in dealing with the damage of their loss. The experienced lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm are here to help you with your wrongful death case in Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, or the West Palm Beach area. Reach out to us today for assistance.