Attorney wants class action lawsuit vs. Lisa Steed

By Marcos Ortiz

Published 05/29 2014 05:35PM

Updated 05/29 2014 05:46PM

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – A civil lawsuit against former UHP Trooper Lisa Steed could turn into a class action case.

An attorney representing Thomas Romero in the original lawsuit has filed a motion requesting the action.
Romero and Julie Tapia are suing the Utah Highway Patrol and Lisa Steed claim their civil rights were violated when they were arrested by Steed.

This latest development stems from the 2009 UHP internal internal memo that criticized the method Steed was using to make her arrests. The memo which was publicized last year may now open the door for many more victims to sue.
Despite court orders to produce all evidence during the DUI criminal cases, defense attorneys never saw the memo.

“There was a big time conspiracy to hide information,” says Romero’s attorney Robert Sykes.

In her deposition Steed says she was aware of the memo in a meeting with her supervisors saying "I guess (they) had some questions on some of my reports and that basically didn't feel that ... we should be charging people with metabolite. He felt they needed to be impaired, I guess, to be arrested."

Her supervisor now admits in his deposition prosecutors should have seen it. Major Michael Rapich: "We would at least let the prosecutor evaluate it."

Because of the missing memo, Sykes is now asking a judge to turn this into a class action lawsuit.

“They had a right to get it and they didn't get it,” says Sykes. “All those are class members.

Sykes estimates there could be as many as two thousand drivers Steed arrested between 2006 and 2012. The state must respond to the request before a Davis County judge rules on whether to turn the current lawsuit into a class action case.

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