KENNEWICK, Wash-- Attorneys for Christopher Villareal's family have filed a claim for damages totaling $10 million. This is the first step in what could be a lawsuit against the city of Kennewick.
"We researched some jury verdicts around the country with officer involved shootings," says Dennis Hanson, assistant attorney. "We found some numbers that were very high, some that were smaller, and just took a general median and went with it."
It's now in the city's hands. They have 60 days to review the claim.
"It's so early on in the process, I don't even know all the facts," says city attorney Lisa Beaton.
But the city attorney says she doesn't have enough information to decide how, or when, to move forward.
"This particular claim is unusual in that the actual review of the incident hasn't concluded," she adds.
The city is already in the midst of appealing another multi-million dollar case over the Columbia Park Golf Course. High profile cases are why the city has insurance.
"For something like the Villareal claim, the city generally has what's called general liability insurance and for something as significant as this claim, the insurance carrier pretty much takes over."
Which means the taxpayer doesn't pay. For now, the city is keeping quiet on the matter; that is, until the investigation is complete.