A lawsuit brought against Snohomish County by a family terrorized in 1999 when a deranged man broke into their home was tossed out of court Thursday.
Robert Harvey had argued in court papers that he was forced to shoot the intruder at his Seattle Hill-area condominium because of slow police response.
Lynnwood attorney Stephen Conroy in 2002 brought a $10 million lawsuit on the Harveys’ behalf, alleging that county leaders engaged in "reckless, negligent and perhaps criminal conduct" by allowing them to believe help from sheriff’s deputies was just a 911 call away.
Civil rights claims raised in the case were dismissed earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne on Thursday dismissed the remaining claims brought under state law, deputy prosecutor Ray Dearie said.
The incident occurred when a mentally ill man from Seattle showed up outside the Harvey home, his body coated in white paint.
The man was screaming that he was there to serve God, and he spent the next 15 minutes battering his way into the home. The intruder survived six gunshot wounds and was sent to prison for burglary.
The county argued that it was not at fault.
"There is nothing the county could have done any differently to prevent this shooting from happening, absent of putting a police officer outside of every residence for the possibility that criminal activity might occur," Dearie said.