Injury Attorneys Serving Connecticut

Bloomfield Woman Sues City of Hartford for Negligence in High Speed Chase

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By Hillary Federico,

The Hartford Courant


A woman seriously injured in a car crash in September 2009 filed a lawsuit against the City of Hartford Wednesday for the negligent actions of a police officer who, despite orders to stop, pursued a suspect at “dangerously high speeds” through the streets of Hartford, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court, alleges that Hartford Officer Benjamine R. Lee failed to communicate properly with the Hartford Police Department, traveled at speeds in violation of department policy, failed to stop the pursuit when instructed to do so, and did not use lights or sirens during the chase.

On the evening of Sept. 17, 2009, Lee attempted to stop a car that had been traveling north on Lebanon Street, eventually turning east onto East Harold Street, the lawsuit states. The driver of the car continued to drive away from the police.

About 9:13 p.m., the suspect’s car crashed into another car near the intersection of Coventry and East Harold streets, according to court documents. Lorine Ridley, a passenger in the car, suffered severe injuries to the head, chest, stomach, and lower extremities.

“Lorine Ridley’s life has been forever changed because of this needless high-speed chase through the busy city streets of the City of Hartford,” said Ridley’s attorney, Andrew Groher from the Hartford law firm RisCassi and Davis.

“It is well known that officers in the field will chase when a suspect flees. That is why the state has mandated that each municipal police department has pursued policies that, if followed, will prevent tragedies like this.”