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9191 Broadway
Merrillville, IN, 46410
United States

219-769-1313

Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP your smart choice for lawyers in Northwest Indiana. Our full-service law firm has offices in Merrillville and Valparaiso Indiana as well as one in Chicago Illinois. At BCC, our lawyers pride themselves on being able to provide a wide range of legal services to our clients, who benefit from the depth and experience we provide from top to bottom.

The main practice groups at Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP are: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Commercial Services, Civil Litigation, and Business and Personal Services.

Our attorneys represent businesses and government entities in the following areas: Business Planning, Commercial Law, Construction, Labor & Employment, Governmental Entities, Healthcare, Labor, Pension Profit-sharing & Employee Benefits, Real Estate, Taxation, and Worker's Compensation.

Our lawyers also represent individuals in matters such as Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Immigration, Family Law, Probate Administration, Real Estate, and Taxation.

Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP is a well-rounded firm with strong roots in Northwest Indiana that is focused primarily on our lawyers providing clients with the highest quality legal service in a broad range of practice areas.

Litigation Blog

Won Jury Verdict for Municipality in Police Case

John P. Bushemi

John P. Bushemi won a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the City of Hobart Police Department in a wrongful death lawsuit.  The jury determined that a Hobart patrol officer was not at fault for the death of an innocent motorist which occurred when the motorist was struck and killed by a fleeing felony offender who ran a red light at an intersection and collided with the victim’s vehicle.  The victim’s estate had sued Hobart claiming that the officer’s high speed pursuit had caused the offender to speed and drive recklessly and run the red light.  Attorneys for the victim’s estate requested a jury award of $1,500,000 against Hobart.

Mr. Bushemi defended the case under the Indiana rule of “no responsible cause.”  Under that rule, police have a duty to apprehend reckless offenders, and as long as their pursuit of the offender is reasonable, police cannot be the responsible cause of death or injury sustained by an innocent third party.  In this case, Attorney Bushemi submitted evidence that although the officer had pursued the offender earlier, the officer discontinued his high speed pursuit approximately .62 miles from the intersection where the offender ran the red light.  Evidence also indicated the offender had smoked marijuana laced with embalming fluid and at times drove 95-100 MPH. 

Mr. Bushemi commented on the verdict: 

“This case is a tragic story of an offender, high on drugs, driving recklessly and killing an innocent victim.  The Hobart patrol officer attempted to intervene and stop the offender’s reckless driving, but terminated his high speed pursuit prior to the collision.  Despite the officer’s efforts to protect the public, the offender sped on and ran the red light killing the victim.  Municipalities that employ police officers are not insurers of the conduct of criminals they attempt to apprehend.”