A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has made a split decision in the lawsuit filed against former President Donald Trump over the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick after the January 6, 2021 attack. The judge ruled that only part of the lawsuit may move forward.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta decided that Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s partner, can proceed with her civil lawsuit against Trump on two counts under D.C.’s Survival Act, allowing legal action on behalf of Sicknick’s estate after his death. However, Mehta dismissed the wrongful death and negligence counts against Trump. Garza filed the suit against Trump, along with Jan. 6 defendants George Tanios and Julian Khater.
While Khater was sentenced to prison for assaulting Sicknick by spraying a chemical irritant, neither he nor Tanios faced criminal charges related to Sicknick’s death. The judge emphasized that the Survival Act claim could continue as Garza is Sicknick’s legal representative.
Mark Zaid, an attorney representing Garza, expressed satisfaction that the lawsuit was permitted to continue and mentioned considering options, including deposing former President Trump.
The medical examiner’s office had previously stated that Sicknick died of natural causes, suffering from strokes caused by a clot. In a separate criminal case, Trump faces accusations of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results, including his actions on Jan. 6.
In another development, a wrongful death claim was dismissed against Trump and Sicknick’s assailants, Julian Khater and George Tanios, ruling that Sandra Garza lacked standing for such a claim as Sicknick’s partner. However, the civil suit remains active, alleging a civil conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, with Garza seeking $10 million in damages from each defendant.
Despite the legal challenges, a federal appeals court recently rejected Trump’s attempts to dismiss civil claims related to his alleged role in the Capitol riot based on presidential immunity. The legal battles surrounding the events of January 6 continue to unfold.