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Vortice v. Fordice

May 14, 1998

BRENDA VORTICE, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF HENRY VORTICE, SR., AND HENRY EARL VORTICE, JR., JERIMIAH VORTICE POLLARD AND JERRIKA VORTICE, MINORS
v.
KIRK FORDICE, GOVERNOR; JIM INGRAM, COMMISSIONER OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; AND JIMMY STRINGER, DIRECTOR OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY



Before Prather, C.j. , Roberts And Mills , JJ.

Mills, Justice, For The Court:

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/26/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ELZY JONATHAN SMITH JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: COAHOMA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

BY: JIM FRAISER

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - WRONGFUL DEATH

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 5/14/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS

¶1. In September 1995, Henry Vortice, a highway patrolman, was questioned by officials at the Highway Patrol headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi, regarding his alleged participation in armed robbery as well as illegal distribution of drugs. Vortice was also asked to resign from the highway patrol. During the interrogation Vortice agreed that he would wear a "wire" to help the officials obtain evidence against an accomplice. Vortice committed suicide shortly after making the requested tape.

¶2. On September 26, 1996, Vortice's wife and administratrix of his estate, Brenda Vortice, instituted a wrongful death action against the Mississippi Department of Public Safety claiming that the Department should have known about Vortice's suicidal tendencies and should have kept him in protective custody. The Plaintiff failed to furnish written notice to the Defendant ninety days prior to filing suit as required by statute. The Department filed a motion to dismiss Mrs. Vortice's suit for failure to comply with the notice requirements of the Tort Claims Act, Mississippi Code Annotated § 11-46-11. The Circuit Court of Cohoma County granted the motion to dismiss. Aggrieved, Mrs. Vortice appeals assigning the following issue as error:

I. WHETHER MISSISSIPPI CODE ANNOTATED ยง 11-46-11 VIOLATES THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE ...


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