Lego v. Liss – State Files Appeal in Governmental Immunity Case Involving “Friendly Fire” Incident

Last week, the state of Michigan filed an Application for Leave to Appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court challenging the Court of Appeals (majority) opinion in this case Lego v. Liss, holding that a police officer could be subject to liability (and not immune) in an incident in which the officer shot another police officer while conducting an arrest.

This ruling threatens the balance of immunity provided to law enforcement officers in the performance of their duty and runs contrary to the Governmental Tort Liability Act’s recognition that injuries incurred in the line of duty are inherent risks of policing.  See generally, MCL 691.1401 et seq.

The decision also “excepts” the plaintiff’s claim from the exclusive remedy provisions of the Michigan workers’ compensation disability act on grounds that a question of fact existed as to whether the defendant state trooper’s conduct was sufficiently reckless to come within the “intentional tort” exception to the exclusive remedy provision in MCL 418.131.

Carson J. Tucker represents governmental entities and law enforcement officers.  He is responsible for the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Odom v. Wayne County, a case in which he succeeded in having the Supreme Court grant leave to clarify the law after more than 30 years of disarray involving liability imposed on law enforcement officers for conduct in the line of duty.

Odom v. Wayne County – Supreme Court Issues Definitive Ruling on Intentional Tort Exception to Governmental Immunity

Effective appellate representation demands different skills than those required by litigation attorneys.  Mr. Tucker is adept at analyzing the intricacies of each case from an objective and critical perspective.  From reviewing and preparing the lower court record, identifying appealable errors, and developing a strategy to raise issues that will be addressed by appellate courts, Mr. Tucker is capable of handling the most complex appeals from the application stage to oral advocacy before the highest courts.  Mr. Tucker’s research abilities and knowledge of current issues in nearly all major subject-matter areas of the law provide our clients with efficient and immediate assistance with complex and high-exposure cases.

Mr. Tucker is experienced at navigating through all appellate courts to shepherd the appeal in the most expeditious fashion possible so that it can be reviewed and quickly ruled upon.

During the  7 years, Mr. Tucker has been responsible for several seminal decisions in workers’ compensation, governmental immunity, employment and labor law, civil rights law and insurance coverage.  Because of his specialized knowledge and focus on appellate law and his recognized expertise, Mr. Tucker has been asked to participate as amicus curiae writing briefs for the Supreme Court or as special counsel to other governmental entities in some of the most significant cases in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

Some of the recent significant cases in which Mr. Tucker has provided direct appellate counsel include:

  • Williamson v. GM, Supreme Court No. 149850 (November 25, 2014), application filed and Supreme Court granted
  • Estate of Truett v. Wayne County (Court of Appeals Docket No. 313638 (May 6, 2014)
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich. App. ___ (201_), amicus curiae brief to be filed after remand for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Omian v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 495 Mich. 859 (2013), application filed by Carson J. Tucker, Supreme Court remand to Court of Appeals on leave granted, oral argument presented by Carson J. Tucker.
  • Ghanam v. John Does, 303 Mich. App. 522 (2013), application to appeal filed in Supreme Court by Carson J. Tucker
  • State Farm v. MMRMA, ___ Mich App ___ (2013), amicus curiae for Oakland County in support of MMRMA application, by Carson J. Tucker
  • Hannay v MDOT, ___ Mich ___ 201_), application granted, amicus curiae filed for Michigan Townships Association, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County, et al., by Carson J. Tucker
  • Yono v. MDOT, ___ Mich ___ (201_), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County filed by Carson J. Tucker in support of the state’s application
  • Huddleston v. Trinity Health, et al., 495 Mich. 976 (2014), oral argument on application granted, amicus curiae with Lawrence Garcia, Esq., for MDTC
  • Ashley, LLC v Pittsfield Twp., 494 Mich 875 (2013), application granted, for Pittsfield Township by Carson J. Tucker (resolved by settlement)
  • Bailey v. Schaaf, ___ Mich ___ (2013), amicus curiae for MDTC by Carson J. Tucker
  • Atkins v. SMART, 492 Mich 707 (2012), oral argument on application, Court of Appeals case reversed by opinion, Carson J. Tucker
  • Hagerty v Manistee, 493 Mich 933 (2013), amicus curiae for Michigan Municipal League, et al., by Carson J. Tucker

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