Arizona family in victim mix-up case files suit

AP News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2011 5:29 PM
Arizona family in victim mix-up case files suit

A suburban Phoenix family has filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona following an identity mix-up that led them to believe their daughter had died in car crash when she was actually alive.

Sergio and Maria Guerra of Glendale claim the state Department of Public Safety failed to follow protocols when officers said their 20-year-old daughter, Abby, died in the crash last July west of Phoenix.

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/owLFnf ) six days after the Guerras were told their daughter had died, officers contacted the family again. They said Abby's close friend, 21-year-old Marlena Cantu, had actually died in the crash on Interstate 10, while Abby was in critical condition at a Phoenix hospital.

The lawsuit names department director Robert Halliday, an agency chaplain and four officers.

Capt. Steve Harrison, a department spokesman, says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.