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LOCAL NEWS-
The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Monday, June 29 that Crookston Police Officer Don Rasicot could be held liable for leaving his patrol car unlocked and running when a suspect Ricardo Mello stole the car and killed Eddie Briggs in a crash on September 3, 2011.
A suit was in Polk County District Court in 2013 for damages suing Officer Rasicot and the city of Crookston For negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional stress by the plaintiff Patricia Briggs who was in the vehicle driven by her husband when Mello crashed into them killing her husband, Eddie Briggs. A Crookston city ordinance says it is illegal to leave a motor vehicle unattended with the engine running unless the doors are locked.
Patricia Briggs filed a civil lawsuit against Rasicot and the City of Crookston while the defendants made a motion for summary judgment asking the district court to make a judgment in their favor without going to trial. They argued that Rasicot was protected by an immunity clause for public officials. The opinion was that Rasicot could not be held liable for his actions as long as they were not done willfully or maliciously. The district court dismissed the defendantís arguments and ruled that Rasicot and the city could be held liable. The defendants appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and they ruled that Rasicot did have a ministerial duty to lock his patrol car when leaving it unattended.
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