Wrongful death lawsuit against Douglas County underway in U.S. District Court
photo by: Court Document
Douglas County commissioners are closely monitoring a wrongful death action against the county in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.
Douglas County Commission Chair Nancy Thellman missed Wednesday’s County Commission meeting to attend the third day of proceedings in a civil lawsuit in the death of Rachel Hammers, who died in her cell on May 12, 2012. Hammers’ father, Joseph Harvey, of Lawrence, is suing for more than $1.35 million for Hammers’ children in reparation for her death.
In March, U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia ruled a jury should hear evidence of wrongful death and negligence accusations against the county.
The County Commission has scheduled an abbreviated agenda for June 13 in anticipation Thellman will again attend the trial.
A jury finding against the county would not be a blow to the county’s budget. Without commenting on the current trial, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said the county had an insurance policy that would cover awards resulting from civil litigation.