Utah Supreme Court rejects handcuffed man's lawsuit

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's Supreme Court says a handcuffed man who fell while waiting to be put in a Utah Highway Patrol car can't sue the agency for negligence.

Thomas Peck filed a lawsuit accusing UHP and the arresting trooper of negligence for allowing him to fall on his face during a 2002 arrest for allegedly driving drunk. Court papers filed in 3rd District Court said Peck was unable to break his fall because he was handcuffed.

In a ruling last week, justices said the law gives UHP and its officers immunity from being sued over injuries that arise in any form of "legal confinement," including in a prison or a jail. The court said Peck was incarcerated when he fell, even though he wasn't behind bars.

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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