U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Kovacic v. Villarreal, No. 10-40208

Civil Rights Action Based on Wrongful Death

In Kovacic v. Villarreal, No. 10-40208, an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against City of Laredo police officers to recover damages for the death of plaintiff's decedent, the court reversed the denial of qualified immunity where there was also no evidence in the record showing that the officers had any reason to think that plaintiff's decedent likely would not call his wife to pick him up as he indicated, or that the officers were aware that he was lacking the resources to secure another way home.


As the court wrote:  "Plaintiffs-appellees brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against City of
Laredo Police Officers Juan Villarreal and Jose D. Rubio to recover damages for the death of Zachary Kovacic. The issue on appeal is whether the defendants-appellants are entitled to summary judgment on the defense of qualified immunity. For the reasons stated below, we find that Officers Rubio and Villarreal are entitled to summary judgment and reverse the district court's order denying it."

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