Ky. Supreme Court overturns ruling that grants police immunity in deadly car chases

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned a 1952 ruling that granted immunity to police officers involved in dangerous car chases.

Sister station WKYT reports the new ruling means that police can be sued for damages when car chases lead to death or injury of pedestrians.

In January 2014, Luis Gonzalez and a passenger were killed by Keenan McLaughlin while he was trying to drive away from a Scott County Sheriff's Deputy. Some say these deaths could have been avoided, as the deputy, Jeremy Johnson, had his lights on but not his sirens.

This incident raised the conversation regarding the 72-year-old ruling that decided law enforcement could not be at fault for any damages or deaths that happened during a chase.

Now that the Supreme Court overturned the ruling, the Gonzalez case can move to trial against Johnson.

"I'm grateful that our police and our sheriffs' deputies are out there doing their job and I want them to make good decisions and I think most of them do most of the time. Hopefully, this will be incentive to always make a good decision," said Jay Prather, one of the lawyers representing the Gonzalez case.

Kentucky is one of the last states to overturn the old ruling.

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