Motorist blames sheriff’s department for injuries from high-speed chase

By Robert Hadley | Apr 25, 2016

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman and her husband are suing the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly causing an accident in which the woman was seriously injured.

Paula and Darrin Holmes filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court against the Kanahwha County Sheriff’s Department and Cpl. A.J. Miller, alleging gross negligence and reckless conduct.

According to the complaint, after Miller witnessed a motorist in a Camaro make a traffic violation, he pursued the suspect at speeds of up to 100 mph along a three-mile stretch of Big Tyler Road in Kanawha County. Although Miller initially used his lights and siren, the suit alleges, at some point in the chase he deactivated them, but continued the pursuit.

The chase allegedly caused the Camaro to swerve into Paula Holmes’ lane, where she suffered catastrophic injuries and fractures to her lower legs, abdomen, shoulder and head from the collision. As a result of her injuries, Holmes claims she endured extreme physical and mental pain and suffering, incurred medical bills, lost wages, permanent disfigurement and lost earning capacity. Holmes’ husband claims loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs seek a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages, plus interest and litigation costs. They are represented by attorneys D. Blake Carter Jr. and J. Ryan Stewart of Bailey Javins & Carter L.C. in Charleston.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 16-C-421

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