Liability suits for negligent security in courthouse shooting deaths?
The Fulton County Daily Report published an article on April 19th, reporting that Judge Rowland Barnes’ widow may sue for negligent courthouse security. Judge Barnes, along with his court reporter and a deputy sheriff, were killed on March 11th after Brian Nichols, defendant in a rape trial, overwhelmed a female deputy sheriff and took her gun.
Mrs. Barnes has retained the preeminent trial lawyer Tommy Malone. It was not immediately known if the family of BARNES’ court reporter, Julie A. Brandau, or the families of the other victims�Sgt. Hoyt K. Teasley and federal agent David Wilhelm�had retained counsel. Fulton County Attorney Overtis H. Brantley said Monday she had not received notice that someone intends to sue the county over the shootings. Malone said he still needs to examine the events of March 11 and determine what happened. “Our first job is investigation,” he said. “To separate rumor from fact.”
Please post your analysis of the legal issues involved in suing the county, the sheriff, or others in this situation.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).