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Hearing scheduled in lawsuit against county

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A court hearing is scheduled in a couple of weeks in a lawsuit resulting from a 2018 car accident involving a local woman and a Chaves County sheriff’s deputy.

Alisha Finney of Roswell is suing Chaves County, alleging that she suffered catastrophic injuries from an accident on or about Sept. 16, 2018. The suit claims that Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy Hector Ramirez, while on duty, tried to pass her while she was on East Hobson Road preparing to turn left. The suit also alleges Ramirez was driving at a high rate of speed.

She filed her lawsuit through her lawyer, Damon Richards of Lubbock, Texas, in the Chaves County division of the New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court on April 27. She has asked for a jury trial.

A Sept. 3 hearing has been set before Judge Raymond Romero to consider the county’s motion to dismiss one of the counts of the lawsuit.

Chaves County Manager Stanton Riggs said that the matter is being handled by lawyers representing the county’s insurance carrier. The law firm is Ortiz and Zamora of Santa Fe. Daniel Rubin, one of the lawyers associated with the firm, said that no comment is made on pending cases.

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According to court documents, the firm’s lawyers also have filed an initial response on behalf of Chaves County and that Ramirez denies responsibility for the damages claimed and disputes negligence.

They also are making a legal argument that count two, which is a standalone negligence claim separate from any negligence on the part of public employees alleged in count one, is not permitted by state law when suing a governmental entity. 

A call to Richards, the plaintiff’s lawyer, was not returned by press time.

Finney has asked for unspecified compensation for present and future lost income, medical and non-medical expenses, and suffering and diminished quality of life due to her injuries, which the lawsuit states include disfigurement and disability.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.