Sarasota County Settles Wrongful Death Suit
Posted on Aug 20, 2015
On January 7, 2012, Donna Chen went out with her dog for a walk/jog. She never came home. Earlier that day, after several interactions with two Sarasota County Sherriff’s Deputies, a young man named Blake Talman, who had been drinking at Siesta Key Beach, was given a fatal instruction to leave by these deputies. Witness accounts showed he and his two companions were intoxicated and being a public menace. Despite being told to calm down on more than one occasion, these young men did not. Eventually, they were approached by the deputies, yet again, and began to leave. As they walked toward the parking lot, one carried a bottle of alcohol and had car keys. One turned and made a derogatory comment to the deputies who decided to take him into custody. At that time, Talman asked how to get his friend out of jail. He later testified, under oath, that he was told to leave the beach or go to jail. He then went to his car, got in it, and eventually lost control driving on Midnight Pass Road striking and killing Mrs. Chen. This fatal mistake by the deputies in directing this intoxicated young man to drive created a risk to the public, including Mrs. Chen, by placing a drunk driver on the road. After lengthy litigation, the county attorney recommended a settlement for the full amount permitted under law, $200,000.00. It was our pleasure to represent such good clients and better people. We hope this settlement gives them some measure of closure.