Officer sues Amtrak over shot foot


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Rodman30
January 22, 2010, 03:21 PM
Officer sues Amtrak over foot shooting
Paul J. Richards, AFP / Getty ImagesPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A police officer for Amtrak is suing the railroad, claiming it's liable for an incident when a woman grabbed his gun and shot him in the foot.

Sixty-five-year-old James Bullard says he was working at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station last March when he got in line at McDonald's. Bullard says when he tried to remove a disruptive woman from the restaurant, she grabbed his gun from his holster and shot him in the foot.

In the suit, Bullard claims that he had a worn gun holster and that Amtrak failed to provide a new holster when he requested one. Calls to both Bullard and his attorney, Steven Lafferty, were not immediately returned. An Amtrak spokesman was not aware of the suit and declined to comment.

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Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2010, 03:26 PM
Obviously he didn't consider the risk so high that he would buy his own holster and then submit a claim to Amtrack.

NG VI
January 22, 2010, 03:35 PM
sounds like he got overpowered by a disturbed woman and is embarrassed enough about it to make even more of an ass of himself.

MinnMooney
January 22, 2010, 03:38 PM
Amtrak failed to provide a new holster when he requested one.

The key words here are : "failed to proved" & "when he requested one".

When I read the intro I 1st thought, "Oh, just another sue-happy person trying to get some free compensation." But if his was worn (& this depends on WHAT was worn) and he requested a new or safer holster and Amtrack refused................... then I believe there's some liability there. But, on the other hand, if he was requesting a replacement due ONLY to cosmetic wear then he has no case.

How about suing the damned woman that caused the shooting?!?

tkopp
January 22, 2010, 03:43 PM
If he's a federal officer, he's carrying double or triple retention. Worn probably means that the retention features aren't working as intended, which is akin to a roofer working with a frayed safety harness.

Yoda
January 22, 2010, 03:43 PM
Remember the bad old days when anything like this got twisted into some claim against the gun maker?

I am SO glad those days are largely behind us!

- - - Yoda

ChaoSS
January 22, 2010, 04:26 PM
It is his job to ensure that his gun does not fall into the wrong hands. If the situation was really that bad that the holster no longer held the gun in place, he should have sued them then for forcing him to work with bad equipment.

DoubleTapDrew
January 22, 2010, 04:52 PM
Unless he's prohibited from using anything other than what they provide him with I think this should be tossed out. Maybe he can also sue them for failing to provide him with bulletproof shoes.
The lady should pick up the tab for any and all medical bills, lost work, new shoe, and a new cartridge.

Sediment
January 22, 2010, 05:04 PM
I love how he isn't blaming the person that went for his gun. God forbid we hold people accountable.:cuss:

cassandrasdaddy
January 22, 2010, 05:21 PM
i'll wager his contract requires them to provide the gear and likely requires him to on ly use their specified gear. and that they were slow responding to his request

eye5600
January 22, 2010, 05:26 PM
This strikes me as exactly the sort of suit that Workmen's Compensation was meant to avoid. It happened on the job, the employer pays, the employee can't sue, the bureaucracy is terrible, and no one is happy. Perfect solution.

Probably Amtrak, being railroad (EVERYTHING is different for railroads, even HIC numbers) and quasi-Federal, is excluded from WC.

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 05:39 PM
i'll wager his contract requires them to provide the gear and likely requires him to on ly use their specified gear. and that they were slow responding to his request

Yup.

And in that case, they'd be liable if the equipment was faulty, and he had notified them.

Maybe some people here think it should be okay to send someone out to do a potentially deadly job while depriving him of the necessary equipment to give him the best possible margin of safety. Courts tend to disagree.

(Note that this is not a criminal case. Assuming the plaintiff's claim is true, it is merely a case about whether Amtrak, after deciding to take a risk to save money on equipment, has to pay for the results of that risk.)

cassandrasdaddy
January 22, 2010, 05:41 PM
and lets not overlook his age hes knocking on retirement and disability retirement pays way better

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 05:45 PM
True enough. I'm not saying he's an angel.

It's just not okay to send the chinamen up the mountainside in baskets to light the dynamite, any more. Railroads were the raison d'etre of workplace safety law.

So if he's telling the truth, he does have a case.

Best solution? Get rid of Amtrak! Let regional railroads run trains if, where and when it makes economic sense, and let investors put up the cash, take the risks, and reap the profits, if any.

mljdeckard
January 22, 2010, 06:32 PM
chaoss, the company SHARES the responsibility here. THE COMPANY has a responsibility to make sure that it has taken reasonable measures to protect its passengers.

The thing that shifts liability here is that he apparently notified Amtrak of the deficiency in advance, and they failed to correct it. I hope he wins just because I hate Amtrak.

In MY situation in the military, I never wait for them to issue me the correct gear. If I did, I would freeze to death.

wishin
January 22, 2010, 07:00 PM
It may not have a bearing on the case, but what's an Amtrak cop doing getting involved in a McDonald's disruptive customer issue? On the surface, this appears like it didn't happen during the performance of his normal duties. Is the restaurant in the station? Does he have any jurisdiction there, and if not, does that matter?

BURN
January 22, 2010, 07:11 PM
I was an Officer for the Government...they only wanted us to use Department approved/issued holsters and equipment....they got us some cheep uncle mike ones....I purchased and used my own...when they told me to use my issued one I said it wsa broke and they needed to replace it...they dropped the issue...

benEzra
January 22, 2010, 07:20 PM
Given that he was shot in the foot, I wonder if the news organization garbled the story, and the gun actually discharged in the holster while the woman was yanking on it.

GRIZ22
January 22, 2010, 07:21 PM
The lady should pick up the tab for any and all medical bills, lost work, new shoe, and a new cartridge.
__________________


I'm sure she would be named in the suit if she had anything. AMTRAK has deeper pockets.

It may not have a bearing on the case, but what's an Amtrak cop doing getting involved in a McDonald's disruptive customer issue? Does he have any jurisdiction there, and if not, does that matter?
__________________


If the McDonald's is in the train station it's in his primary jurisdiction. AMTRAK has full police powers in any state so it really doesn't matter.

If the contract says the agency will provide all equipment and he requested a new holster I think it will settled out of court eventually. Agencies don't like to have judgements of any kind against them.

ChaoSS
January 22, 2010, 08:17 PM
chaoss, the company SHARES the responsibility here. THE COMPANY has a responsibility to make sure that it has taken reasonable measures to protect its passengers.

The thing that shifts liability here is that he apparently notified Amtrak of the deficiency in advance, and they failed to correct it. I hope he wins just because I hate Amtrak.

In MY situation in the military, I never wait for them to issue me the correct gear. If I did, I would freeze to death.

If his gear was really so defective as to be unsafe, he should not have been out there. If you are working on a construction site, and the foreman tells you to go up on the scissor lift that keeps losing pressure and dropping, you tell him to get screwed. If he fires you because of it, you have a lawsuit. This may not work on some under the counter job that hires a bunch of illegals and ignores every safety code in the book, but if you are working some federal government job, OSHA would be all over that.

Amtrak isn't some hole in the wall operation. Likely his holster was a little rough around the edges and he wanted a new one, and they didn't feel like paying out. If it was a legit safety concern he had channels that he could follow instead of simply waiting until he got shot and then suing.

jakemccoy
January 22, 2010, 08:59 PM
If the situation was really that bad that the holster no longer held the gun in place, he should have sued them then for forcing him to work with bad equipment.

There's a standing problem in that situation.

By the way, this thread should be in legal.

jakemccoy
January 22, 2010, 09:10 PM
Suing the woman would be a good move in principle only. The woman likely has little or no money. Winning a judgment is one thing. Collecting the judgment is another thing. The officer would likely come out with a net loss in a suit against the woman.

jakemccoy
January 22, 2010, 09:17 PM
In every case reported by the media, we never get all the facts. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if the officer told a supervisor, "If I get injured on the job due to my worn holster, I'm going to have to sue Amtrak." A simple fact like that makes the officer's case even more solid.

MinnMooney
January 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
from DoubleTapDrew - post #8 :
The lady should pick up the tab for any and all medical bills, lost work, new shoe, and a new cartridge.

I agree with everything except "lady". :rolleyes:

larry_minn
January 23, 2010, 02:23 AM
Yrs ago I was working a armed security job. I went in for interview and was hired. They wanted me to work in 3 days but they did not have a training course. (I forget how many hrs it was required to be) They had a S&W mod 10 in a strap holster they asked me to grab. I checked it over while boss was on phone. He says "you know how to use one it looks like?" I agree I know which end the bullets go out of. He signs I passed the course/take the gun along. I declined. Used a personal S&W 66-2 in retention holster instead. (the 10 rattled) I have hopes that could never happen nowdays.

notbubba
January 23, 2010, 04:38 AM
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2010/01/21/Officer-sues-Amtrak-over-foot-shooting/UPI-63411264105641/


From the UPI
"Bullard, 65, who is seeking damages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, said the woman was able to grab his gun because his repeated requests for a holster to replace his worn one went unanswered"

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20100121_Ex-Amtrak_cop_sues_RR_over_shooting_at_take-out.html

From the Philadelphia Daily News
"The woman, who was not identified in the suit, or by police in prior news stories, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses."

"In the suit, Bullard claims he was forced to work with a worn, torn and defective gun holster and that Amtrak failed to provide a new holster when he requested one."

wishin
January 23, 2010, 07:39 AM
From the UPI
"Bullard, 65, who is seeking damages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, said the woman was able to grab his gun because his repeated requests for a holster to replace his worn one went unanswered"

"In the suit, Bullard claims he was forced to work with a worn, torn and defective gun holster and that Amtrak failed to provide a new holster when he requested one."

Assuming he can prove it, I wonder what $ amount the settlement will be??

Sediment
January 23, 2010, 07:51 AM
Assuming he can prove it, I wonder what $ amount the settlement will be??

Probably will be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. I betcha he get's a holster too!

bdickens
January 23, 2010, 10:41 AM
I see a whole lot of speculation here and not much fact.

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