A Memphis case which received national attention and generated local outrage earlier this year is now the subject of a lawsuit. Thursday, attorneys representing the family of a man left for dead for weeks in a Memphis Police impound lot filed a wrongful death suit.
The discovery of Bardo Perez Hernandez’s body in a van in February came 49 days after he was shot during a botched robbery in Binghampton. The 16-page-lawsuit contends investigators acted recklessly in how they searched the van in the impound lot.
Beyond a financial settlement, the attorneys hope the lawsuit leads to policy changes and answers for Hernandez’ family.
“Who is going to give us answers about how you leave a man to bleed out in the back of a van?” asked attorney Murray Wells.
The suit seeks $300,000 in damages, the maximum allowed for such a wrongful death lawsuit. It contends authorities acted negligently in failing to discover and aid Hernandez, who was in the back of the van, and that they did not use the reasonable and ordinary care expected.
Police said Hernandez and other men were shot by two others who were trying to rob them at a Binghampton apartment complex in December. Another victim couldn’t speak to police until late January, leading to the discovery of Hernandez in February, seven weeks after the shooting.
In testimony, a forensic pathologist said Hernandez could have survived his injuries with medical treatment.
“Now we are going to find the answers that the city seems to refuse to find on a case that should have been settled and resolved a long time, on a case that the city said, arguably for the first time, that we are going to do the right thing off the bat, they told us that, and yet, today we are here,” says Wells. “We want the city to now give us answers legally and we want the responsibility for the action and more importantly, they can explain to the family how this will never happen again to someone else’s loved one.”
The city of Memphis has 30 days to respond to this negligence lawsuit. A city spokesperson told Local 24 they can’t comment ongoing litigation.
Bardo Perez Hernandez left behind a 2-year-old daughter and her mother.