Ostling lawsuit to go forward

A federal judge has rejected the city of Bainbridge Island's attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed in the police shooting of Doug Ostling.

Ostling was shot by officers responding to a 911 call at his family's home on Oct. 26, 2010.

His family filed a civil lawsuit last year against the city, Police Chief Jon Fehlman and Jeff Benkert, the police officer who fatally shot Ostling, claiming that Benkert’s use of excessive force led to Ostling’s death and violated the Ostling family’s constitutional rights.

Attorneys for the city had asked the court for a summary judgement on the lawsuit earlier this year.

The city's lawyers said that Ostlings' family could not make Fourth Amendment claims because they were not financially dependent on Doug Ostling, and that claims made under the 14th Amendment should also be dismissed.

The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches, and the 14th Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty or property.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton's decision followed a pretrial conference on the lawsuit Friday, May 4.

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, May 14 in U.S. Western District Court of Washington in Tacoma.


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