A Des Moines couple whose dog, Rosie, was shot and killed by Des Moines police in 2010 was offered $51,000 by the department in an "order of judgement." Legal and other costs will be additional.
UPDATE: Rosie the dog lawsuit- Des Moines Police Dept. offers $51,000; Additional legal & other fees sought
A Des Moines couple whose dog, Rosie, was Tasered, then shot four times and killed by Des Moines police in 2010, was offered $51,000 by the department. Legal and other costs will be additional.
Charles and Dierdre Wright had filed a federal lawsuit against Des Moines police, claiming their civil rights were violated when officers shot Rosie, a 3 year-old Newfoundland, November 7, 2010.
This offer of judgement was reached last month according to the Wrights' Bellingham-based attorney, Adam Karp.
The couple is still seeking some $90,000 in investigative and attorney fees from the city.
Karp, who received his law and graduate degrees at UW, told the Highline TImes he wanted to clarify some points in the case that he said some media got wrong or did not include in their stories about Rosie. He also discussed his love for animals.
"The city submitted an offer of judgement," Karp said. "It wasn't really a 'settlement'. Typically, settlement agreements don't result in judgements. The offer of judgement was for $51,000 plus reasonable attorney fees and costs, and that would be decided by the court.
"I have a motion before the court to decide that amount," he said. "We're seeking about $45,000 plus a 'multiplier' of 2.0 for attorney fees and costs, or $90,000. The multiplier is relevant in the court if the result was 'exceptional.'"
He said he cited two judgements in the thousands to the court that he got for other clients who lost pets.
"A sample decision I included was an award of $25,000 for a case in Olympia," he said.
Like Rosie, that was also a high-profile case. According to an April 19, 2012 article in The Olympian, "A former Lacey man convicted of second-degree animal cruelty after he was accused of kicking his then-wife's cat, resulting in the cat's death, has been ordered to pay his ex-wife $25,000.
"Thurston County Arbitrator Harold Carr's March 16 decision concluded that Justin Chlarson likely 'scooped or tossed' the cat, Mary, on May 28, 2010. The act 'was intentional as opposed to pure negligence,' according to Carr's decision, which broke down plaintiff Kendra Vorhies Flores' damages into $15,000 for the 'intrinsic value of the cat' and $10,000 for her emotional suffering.
"Chlarson, 32, was sentenced to a suspended 90-day jail sentence and a $1,000 fine (...) He also was ordered to have no contact with cats for two years."
Said Karp, "Another award I obtained involved a shooting of my client's chihuahua by very, very young gang members. The dog was apparently barking in my client's backyard. At least one guy was drinking significantly and he pulled out a gun and pointed it over the fence and shot her dog. A $30,000 judgement resulted.
"When you compare $51,000 which is an award against law enforcement, and not a decision made by a judge or arbitrator, but rather the defendants own assessment, and if they are picking that number, I think that speaks volumes," he said.
Karp said he receives nearly 400 phone calls a year and has evaluated over 1,000 cases involving injured animals.
"I'm definitely an animal lover on many levels," he said. "I've been vegan for about 13 years and my wife for over 21 years. We live our lives in accordance with providing compassion for all animals, not just dogs and cats. We care for four cats, from age 3 to 26. We love them, of course."
Des Moines police and a city ad-hoc committee investigated the shooting incident and concluded the officers' actions were justified. The incident so inflamed dog lovers that when another dog accidentally died in police custody in Des Moines Iowa, the Des Moines Washington police received hate messages.