Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 21, 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light to allow the family of a man who died during a drug raid to pursue a wrongful death case against two police officers and the city of Fort Worth, Texas.
At the time of the man’s death, the Fort Worth police were executing a “no-knock” search warrant, on May 16, 2013. It meant they did not have to announce their presence before entering the home.
The victim’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2014 in the appeals court. The court ruled that there were issues in the case that should be decided by a jury. This included evidence that indicated that it was possible the man would not have died if the officers had not used a stun gun and forced him on his stomach. The Supreme Court agreed with the lower court.
According to the city’s medical examiner, the 340-pound victim died of natural causes, with sudden cardiac arrest due to high blood pressure. However, a medical expert testified that the man’s death should not have been ruled natural.
The city of Fort Worth suggested the victim had attempted to resist arrest, but again, witnesses had a different story, saying the man made no attempt to resist, attack or run away. Additionally, a video of the raid showed the man standing in the living room with his hands raised and responding to all instructions the police gave him.
“Does this family have a good case?” asked Austin wrongful death attorney, Brooks Schuelke, not involved in the case. “With the video and eye witness accounts, plus the expert medical testimony, they likely do have a good case. A jury should not conclude that any police officer at the scene would have thought the victim was resisting arrest.”
For families that have lost a loved one to a wrongful death, it is best, no matter what the circumstances, to reach out and discuss the circumstances of the case with an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Schuelke Law PLLC
3011 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78705
Call (512) 476-4944
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