Friday, January 1, 2010

Settlment in Lima Shooting case Does Not Equal Guilt

It has been announced that the City of Lima's insurer has agreed to settlement with the estate of Tarika Wilson, the woman shot and killed during a drug raid last year. According to GCJ, citing the Lima paper, the settlement was agreed to by the insurer, OVER THE OBJECTION OF THE CITY.

The local NAACP is already claiming settlement proves guilt, because, in their view, no person would settle a case if they were guilty. First, civil law is about liability not guilt, with a much lower level of proof needed to find negligence. Second, the insurer - holding a non-consent policy- did not need the City or Sgt. Chavalia's consent, and made the decision to settle on its own. Insurance companies are doing business. It simply calculated the cost of defense, the risk of losing in front of a Lima jury, and the potential verdict at trial, and settled.

Nothing in the settlement equates to GUILT. It is simply a risk decision by insurance company representatives.

Regardless of the responsibility held by Ms. Wilson, or the drug dealing boyfriend, her children will have a nest egg - a huge nest egg - to survive on. Let's hope it is not waisted by well meaning family.