The suits, filed separately by Danna Anderson, Sam Anderson’s wife and representative of Ryan Anderson, his heir, and Penny Phillips and Shirley Thompson, co-administrators of Palace Anderson’s estate, both name former McCreary County Sheriff Gus Skinner, both individually and in his capacity as Sheriff, former Deputy Joe Horne, Shea Coffey, the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed the victims, Sheriff Randy Waters, both individually and in his capacity as Sheriff, the McCreary County Sheriff’s Office, McCreary County and an unknown officer, identified in court documents as John Doe, as defendants in the suits.
Sheriff Waters was not in office at the date of the accident, so it is unclear why he was included in the filing.
The suits contend on October 7, 2014, Shea Coffey was involved in a collision while impaired. Deputies Horne and John Doe responded to the accident.
It states the deputy, through the use of “reasonable diligence” should have known that Coffey was impaired and did not have liability insurance for his vehicle, but allowed him to resume control of his vehicle.
Approximately 13 minutes after the previous collision, Coffey, while speeding, driving impaired and uninsured, struck the vehicle driven by Palace Anderson head on, causing the “premature and untimely death” of both occupants of the car.
The first count in both suits contend Deputies Horne and Doe were negligent in allowing Coffey to continue driving that fateful night.
The second count charges the deputies with the wrongful death of the victims as a result of their negligence.
Coffey is named in three counts of negligence and wrongful death, claiming he had a duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner, and breached that duty while driving impaired and without insurance, causing the death of the Andersons.
The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department, Skinner and Waters are charged with negligent hiring, training and supervision of their deputies, as a result of which led to the instance of the deputies failing to stop Coffey and the subsequent accident.
Both the Sheriff’s Office and McCreary County are charged with being liable for the accident through the negligence of the officers and training.
Danna Anderson’s suit also seeks recompense for loss of consortium for her and her son from Coffey, Horne and Doe.
Both suits seek damages for physical, emotional and psychological injuries and suffering, lost wages, lost ability to earn wages, medical and legal expenses and other damages.
The defendants have 20 days from the original filings to file a response to the suits.
The criminal case against Coffey in the accident is still ongoing, with a pretrial conference scheduled for December 8.