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Sorace v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 27, 2015

Norma Sorace, Administratix of the Estate of Melanie Sorace, deceased; Jahneva Cannaday, deceased; Guardian for Dominique Harris and Tamara Sorace, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
United States of America, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted March 12, 2015.

Page 759

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Page 760

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Page 761

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Pierre.

For Norma Sorace, Administratix of the Estate of Melanie Sorace, deceased; Jahneva Cannaday, deceased; Guardian for Dominique Harris and Tamara Sorace, Plaintiff - Appellant: Terry L. Pechota, Pechota Law Office, Rapid City, SD.

For United States of America, Defendant - Appellee: Cheryl Schrempp DuPris, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota, Pierre, SD; Kevin Koliner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Sioux Falls, SD.

Before WOLLMAN and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges, and WHITE,[1] District Judge.

OPINION

Page 762

WHITE, District Judge.

Norma Sorace (" Sorace" ), Administratix of the Estates of Melanie Sorace and Jahneva Cannaday, a minor, filed suit against the United States of America alleging a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (" FTCA" ) based upon a drunk-driving accident on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Melanie Sorace and Jahneva Cannaday were killed when an intoxicated Shad Dillon (" Dillon" ) crashed his pickup into a vehicle driven by Melanie Sorace. Sorace alleges that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Police Department (" RST PD" ) was negligent in failing to locate and arrest Dillon prior to the accident. The United States of America (" United States" ) filed a motion to dismiss, which the district court[1] granted. Sorace appeals, and we affirm.

I.

On June 30, 2011, Dillon was driving on a highway running through Antelope, South Dakota. Dillon was intoxicated and speeding. Dillon's pick up truck struck Melanie Sorace's car as she proceeded through an intersection with the highway. Melanie Sorace and her daughter, Jahneva Cannaday, were killed, and two of Melanie Sorace's other children were injured. Dillon pleaded guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 1153 and 1112 and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Sorace, as Administratix of Melanie Sorace and Jahneva Cannaday's estates and guardian of the injured children, filed a negligence claim under the FTCA against the United States. Sorace alleged that the RST PD was operating pursuant to ...


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