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Thread: Slain border agent's family loses suit versus feds

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Slain border agent's family loses suit versus feds

    11/16/13 5:56 PM EST

    A federal judge has dismissed the bulk of a lawsuit brought by the parents of a Border Patrol agent killed in 2010 at a crime scene where weapons linked to Operation Fast and Furious were found.

    U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell dismissed claims the family of agent Brian Terry made against various federal employees. The federal government had stepped into the case to assume any liability on the part of the workers. The judge said payments to officers like Terry are governed by federal laws covering employee retirement and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

    As a result, Campbell said, Supreme Court predecent discourages courts from recognizing a remedy for constitutional violations like the lawsuit's claim that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel and a federal prosecutor violated Terry's rights by allowing guns to be sold to straw purchasers in a controversial practice that has come to be known as gunwalking.

    "Congress has provided a comprehensive remedial scheme for Agent Terry’s estate and survivors. The Federal Employees Retirement System...the Federal Employees Compensation Act...and the Public Safety Officer Benefits Acts...all provide benefits for the survivors of federal employees who are killed in the course of their employment. These existing remedies 'amount[] to a convincing reason for the Judicial Branch to refrain from providing a new and freestanding remedy in damages,'" Campbell wrote in an eight-page ruling posted here.

    "The compensation available under the PSOBA is intended to remedy precisely the harm that Plaintiffs have suffered, namely the tragic death of their son. It is not the proper role of this Court to second-guess the remedial scheme established by Congress, find it insufficient, and impose an additional judicially-crafted remedy," the judge said. "The Court recognizes that Plaintiffs have suffered a great loss, and that any financial remedy is likely insufficient to redress their injury. But as the Supreme Court has made clear, the bedrock principle of separation of powers counsels against judicially-created remedies when Congress has established a remedial scheme."

    The Terry family was "extremely disappointed" by the decision, lawyer Lincoln Combs said.

    "The ruling has nothing to do with the underlying incompetence of those responsible for the debacle that ended in Brian's death," Combs said. We intend to appeal and we and the Terry family will continue to pursue all avenues to obtain justice and to hold those responsible for this tragedy."

    The Terry family lawsuit may continue against the gun store alleged to have sold the Fast and Furious-related weapons, Lone Wolf Trading, and its owners. Campbell, an appointee of President George W. Bush, issued an order Friday asking the parties whether those claims should continue in federal court or state court.

    (h/t Sharyl Attkisson/CBS)
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  2. #2
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Gheen, Minnesota, United States
    Politico is lying when they say the family 'loses' this suit. The judge threw it out. It was never heard nor fought in court.

    Kiara likes this.
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