Lawsuit moves forward against state trooper for chase crash, Kansas Supreme Court rules

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The Kansas Supreme Court hears arguments on whether there was sufficient evidence for a lawsuit against a Kansas State Trooper. Patrick Saleh was chasing Robert Horton (right) when Horton crashed into a car with Shelby Montgomery and Scott Bennett inside.

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A lawsuit against a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper for a crash during a Topeka chase will go to a jury trial, the Kansas Supreme Court decided Friday.

State trooper and Capitol Police officer Patrick R. Saleh faces a civil lawsuit that claims he failed to end his chase with a suspect, Robert Horton, who ran a red light and crashed into a truck. The crash injured the occupants and plaintiffs, Shelby Montgomery and Scott E. Bennett, who also sued the state of Kansas for liability for the troopers actions. Montgomery and Bennett claim that Saleh breached his “duty of care” to public safety by not ending his pursuit of Horton earlier.

A district court granted summary judgment to Saleh and the State. The Kansas Court of Appeals and now the majority of the Kansas Supreme Court both decided there was enough evidence to present the case against Saleh to a jury, but held the decision for summary judgement for the state.

Three Supreme Court Justices: Caleb Stegall, Henry Green and Eric Rosen disagreed with the majority, arguing the evidence failed to show the troopers’ breach of duty of care, or a disregard of the danger of the chase.

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