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Massachusetts Wrongful Death: Beverly Police Say They Can’t Find 911 Tape Warning Of “Possible Suicidal Female”

Over a year ago, our Boston Injury Lawyer Blog posted a story about a $10 million Massachusetts wrongful death filed against the city of Beverly and three of its police officers over the 2005 suicide death of then-19-year-old Danielle Tarsook.

The lawsuit accused the defendants of negligence in the way they handled a 911 call about a “possible suicidal female, who happened to be Danielle. After taking her to a hospital to have her admitted, they instead handed her over to her father, then-police officer Dennis Tarsook. The complaint notes that it is against police policy for officers to handle incidents that involve their family members.

Per a state police report, Danielle and her dad got into an argument and she went home without getting any medical help. She then used an electrical cord to hang herself in the bathroom of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Matt Lewis.

Now, according to the Massachusetts wrongful death lawyer representing Danielle’s mother, Beverly Tarsook, police are claiming they cannot find the recording of the 911 phone call that Lewis made on the day that Danielle killed herself. The attorney also says that the cop who wrote a report about the incident is now claiming to have made an error when noting the call was about a “possible suicidal female” and that some people are now saying they didn’t know the teenager was suicidal.

The personal injury attorney would like the Beverly, Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit to go to trial, but he claims that the attorneys for the city want the judge to dismiss the case through summary judgment.

There are procedures that police in Massachusetts must follow when making arrests, handling domestic violence or suicide calls, interrogating suspects, or conducting investigations. When negligence, failure to follow protocols, or excessive use of violence results in injury or death, the city police department and the officers involved could be held liable for personal injury, wrongful death, or police brutality.

Lawyer: Police can’t find 911 tape, The Salem News, September 12, 2009
Police sued for $10 million over suicide of officer’s daughter, Salem News, May 6, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Beverly Police Department

Wrongful Death, Massachusetts General Laws