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Family takes steps toward lawsuit against former La Crosse deputy

Nothing they do will bring back their son. They know that better than anyone. But there is something they can do to seek justice for the person they believe is responsible for their terrible loss.

The parents of the 16-year-old killed in a 2010 car accident with a former La Crosse County sheriff's deputy have filed notice in court, claiming that it's the deputy's negligence that killed their son.

The notices were filed late last week on behalf of the boy's parents.

The deputy ran a red light at Hwys. 35 and OT while responding to a call. She struck the 16-year-old's car at an estimated 90 miles per hour.

However, a jury last month acquitted her of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

In the trial, prosecutors argued that she'd been negligent by driving at speeds approaching 100 mph. Wisconsin regulations allow officers to exceed speed limits, but they must approach intersections at speeds allowing them to slow or stop for other traffic.

The documents filed in court state that the officer "operated her vehicle in a negligent, reckless, careless manner in disregard for the safety of others.

"Her negligent, careless conduct and failure to use due care" caused the boy's death, the claim states.

The parents are each asking for compensation of $250,000 for loss of companionship. They're also asking the court to award compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills and other costs.

Together, they're asking for just over $525,000. Defendants weren't named in the documents regarding the July 18 crash.

Source: La Crosse Tribune: "Jennings family intends to sue over Stratman crash," Anne Jungen, Dec. 16, 2011

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