A federal judge has dismissed Clark County from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Erik Scott, a 38-year-old man who was shot and killed last year by three Las Vegas police officers.
In an order issued Wednesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Edward Reed ruled that the county cannot be held liable for the actions or policies of the Metropolitan Police Department, which remains a defendant in the case.
Reed also ruled that the Scott family may pursue its claims against Sheriff Doug Gillespie in his individual capacity -- but not in his official capacity.
At a news conference Thursday, attorney Ross Goodman said he and the Scotts consider the judge's ruling "very fair."
"He basically left the entire complaint intact against Metro, Sheriff Gillespie individually and the three officers," Goodman said.
The Scott family alleges officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola used excessive force when they shot Scott on July 10 outside the Summerlin Costco store. The family alleges Gillespie failed to train, supervise and discipline the officers adequately.
A coroner's jury heard testimony from dozens of witnesses in September before deciding that the three officers acted justifiably when they shot Scott, who was armed.
The medical examiner who autopsied Scott said he had potentially fatal levels of the painkiller morphine and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system.
In January, Goodman voluntarily dismissed Costco Wholesale Corp. and Costco employee Shai Lierley from the federal lawsuit. Lierley called 911 before the shooting to report that Scott was acting erratically.
Goodman said he plans to sue Costco and Lierley in state court.
At a hearing last week, Goodman also voluntarily dismissed Scott's brother, Kevin, from the federal lawsuit. Kevin Scott originally was listed as a plaintiff in the case with Scott's parents, Bill and Linda.
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710.