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The Litigious Society

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In October, Korie Hoke filed a $1.6 million lawsuit against the Tempe, Ariz., police, claiming that it was actually an officer's fault that she, after a New Year's Eve bender, crashed into a cement wall and suffered serious injuries. Hoke had called police to a party, distraught that she had caught her boyfriend cheating on her, and the officer summoned her parents to pick her up. (Hoke was cited only for underage drinking, but she later tested above the blood-alcohol legal limit.) The officer, after obtaining Hoke's assurance that she would await her parents and after searching Hoke and her car and finding no car key (Hoke had hidden it), left the scene. Hoke then drove away and crashed, and now claims it was the officer's fault for not staying with her.

Scott Anthony Gomez Jr. filed a lawsuit in January against jail officials in Pueblo County, Colo., alleging among other things that they failed to take security precautions to prevent him from escaping. He seriously injured himself last year when he fell 40 feet while scaling a wall in his second escape attempt. He said that, after his first escape, he had told then-sheriff Dan Corsentino how lax security was, but that no "improvements" had been made.

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