Florida Husband To File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office For Handling of 911 Call
In Florida, the husband of a woman who was kidnapped from her North Port residence and murdered says he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Charlotte County and the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. He is accusing them of “severe incompetence” over the handling of a 911 call about her abduction.
Denise Amber Lee disappeared from her house in January. Her husband, Nathaniel Lee, returned home in the afternoon and found their two children, ages 2 and 8 months, alone. Denise’s naked body was discovered in a shallow grave two days later. Michael King was arrested and charged with her murder. He has pled not guilty.
Nathaniel says that a Port Charles woman heard Denise screaming and banging on King’s Camaro after he had raped her. The woman called 911, reporting that she had heard crying and “not happy screaming.”
Two 911 dispatchers failed to send police to the intersection where the woman said that she saw Denise. She is believed to have been killed several hours after the 911 call was placed.
Just 90 minutes before her call, police had issued a “be on the lookout” for Lee and his Camaro. A Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is located less than half a mile from where Denise’s body was found.
An internal affairs investigation found that Denise also called 911. Transcripts record her saying “I'm sorry I just want to see my family, please let me go,” before the call was disconnected.
Police officers, lawyers, doctors, investment brokers, and other professionals are required to provide a certain level of professional care when doing their jobs. When failure to perform at that required standard results in serious injuries or deaths in Florida, the negligent or careless party may be held liable under Florida’s Wrongful Death statute.
Denise Lee's husband files intent to sue sheriff's office, ABC7.com, April 10, 2008
Charlotte should settle Lee lawsuit, Heraldtribune.com, April 13, 2008
Nathan Lee: dispatcher showed "severe incompetence", Tampa Bay 10.com, April 10, 2008
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