Flores family files wrongful death suit against former officer, city
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The family of Erica Flores has filed a wrongful death suit against former South Bend Police officer Justin Gorny and the City of South Bend for the fatal crash on July 20, 2018.
According to the lawsuit, Gorny was traveling over 90 miles per hour at W. Western and Kaley when his patrol car struck Flores' vehicle.
The lawsuit says multiple officers on the morning of July 20th were working the 'hot spot' of Lincolnway West and College Street.
Gorny was not involved in the operation and was patrolling an area nearly 2 miles away.
Officers working in an unmarked vehicle in the hot spot requested other officers working the hot spot conduct a traffic stop on a van that had been speeding.
Gorny self-dispatched to assist with the traffic stop on the van at 4:32 a.m., the lawsuit says.
The van was not fleeing and no emergency situation was declared, according to the suit.
Gorny was at the intersection of S. Sheridan Street and W. Sample Street and traveled northbound on Sheridan Street at speeds up to 78 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone, according to reports.
Gorny then made a right hand turn onto eastbound W. Western Avenue and traveled speeds up to 98 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone, according to the lawsuit.
At 4:33 a.m., Gorny's patrol car struck Flores' vehicle while traveling approximately 90 mph at the intersection of W. Western and Kaley Street.
Flores died as a result of the collision.
The family is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees from Gorny.
The family is also suing the city of South Bend alleging the South Bend Police Department didn't train its officers how to drive safely over 50 mph, did not reprimand Gorny for instances 3 instances when he drove over 50 mph.
The lawsuit alleges officers on patrol at night often travel speeds in excess of 50 mph and officers working the night shift responded to emergency calls without the use of both lights and sirens.
The family is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees from the City of South Bend.