Can a police officer sue an officer from another police force for personal injury?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Calatayud v. State of California, 18 Cal.4th 1057, 77 Cal.Rptr.2d 202, 959 P.2d 360 (Cal. 1998):

The majority also contend that we should not consider "any person" to include fellow peace officers because such a construction would have an "adverse effect on the fisc." (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 211 of 77 Cal.Rptr.2d, at p. 369 of 959 P.2d.) But is this really the case? California courts have long assumed that police officers could sue other police officers. (See Rose v. City of Los Angeles (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 883, 206 Cal.Rptr. 49.) As far as I can discern, there has been no substantial impact on the public treasury as a result, and the majority demonstrate none beyond their bald assertion. There is indeed every reason to believe that, in light of the skill and training of our peace officers, such lawsuits are relatively rare events. It is therefore unsurprising that, as the majority point out, many public agencies supported the passage of section 1714.9(a): A public agency would have far more to gain, in terms of recovering workers' compensation costs through subrogation of an injured officer's personal injury award, as is permitted by section 1714.9, subdivision (c), than it would have to lose in the rare event that one of its officers injured an officer from another agency.

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