Man Sues Clearwater, Florida For Brother’s Wrongful Death

In Clearwater, John Niesen and his mother Mary Riley are suing the Florida city and five ex-police offers for his brother’s death. Riley says that city cops bludgeoned his brother Michael, then age 18, to death over 30 years ago.

Niesen and Riley are accusing the city of Clearwater of conspiracy, including failure to conduct a complete investigation, and destroying evidence. Their Florida wrongful death lawsuit seeks damages that include loss of companionship, loss of support and services, and past and future mental pain and suffering.

According to Niesen, Michael died in July 1977 after he was attacked by police officers that were upset when a fellow cop died after being thrown from the truck that the teenager was driving.

The incident allegedly occurred on July 13, 1977, when Officer Ronald Mahoney stopped Michael’s pickup in Clearwater Beach. Mahoney cited Michael for reckless driving and found out that the truck had been stolen. As the officer came toward the car, Michael reportedly sped up his car. Mahoney, who jumped into the truck’s flatbed died after being thrown from the vehicle when it flipped-Michael had reportedly fishtailed the car a number of times.

The Niesen’s say that Michael was alive after the car collision but that officers Michael Egger, Edward Garner, Mark Cairns, James Gravely and Charles Butler beat him with their nightsticks. Michael died soon after.

John had first filed his lawsuit last year, but withdrew the case wanting more time. His attorneys say the statute of limitations for this case has not begun running because the defendants continue denying the family the chance to sue for wrongful death.

The Clearwater police department maintains that its police officers did not engage in any criminal conduct resulting in Michael’s death and that the 18-year-old died in the crash. John, who has spent at least $1 million investigating his brother’s death, believes otherwise.

If you believe that someone you loved died in Florida because of another party’s reckless or negligent actions, you should speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation from the negligent party.

Man sues Clearwater again over death of his brother, TampaBay.com, August 15, 2008

Claims shaky in tragic case, TampaBay.com, January 14, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Clearwater, Florida, MyClearwater.com

Police Brutality in the US, HRW.org