Washington County will pay Metzger family more than $2.5 million in damages

Lukus GlennWashington County will have to pay the parents of Lukus Glenn more than $2.5 million in damages after sheriff’s deputies fatally shot their son six years ago outside their Metzger home.

In a settlement approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Commissioners, the county agreed to pay Brad and Hope Glenn $2.575 million, bringing an end to a legal battle that began when Washington County sheriff’s deputies shot their 18-year-old son in 2006.

In a joint statementreleased by Washington County and the Glenn family, the two parties thanked the jury as well as U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez, who oversaw the settlement process, for handing what they called a “very emotional and challenging case.” “They were all motivated by a desire to bring this matter to closure without subjecting the parties to the costs and further delay that an appeal would bring,” the statement read.

In August, a jury awarded Lukus’ parents $2.5 million, saying deputies violated their son's civil rights when they shot him eight times. The family also asked the court for more than $1 million to cover attorneys fees and other costs.

The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved the settlement, including attorney fees and costs. Both sides also agreed that the resolution will stand and neither will file an appeal.

Lukus Glenn was suicidal when deputies confronted him outside his home just after 3 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2006. He held a knife to his throat and screamed at police when he was shot, first with beanbag rounds, then with live ammunition.

Jurors said then-Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon ratified the deputies’ actions when he signed an administrative report clearing deputies Tim Mateski and Mikhail Gerba of wrongdoing.

In October, the county filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman to reduce the Glenns' award.

William Blair, a lawyer representing the county, said state law does not recognize or permit the jury to consider the pain and suffering of the Glenn family, which the jury was specifically asked to consider in its jury instructions.

Blair had said the maximum amount the jury should have awarded the Glenn family was $300,000, nearly 90 percent less than what the jury ultimately decided.

Blair also contended Gordon was in the right when he approved an administrative review looking into Lukus’ death.

Attorneys from both sides have been meeting since October to reach an agreement.

The Glenn family’s attorney Michael Cox said Mosman ordered that the meetings be kept confidential until a ruling was made.

The settlement awaits formal approval by the Washington County Circuit Court’s probate department.

Sheriff Pat Garrett said since Lukus' death, the agency has instituted many changes, including mandatory crisis intervention training and starting a Mental Health Response Team.

If an incident like the one the Glenns faced were to ever happen again, things would likely turn out differently, Garrett said.

“The Washington County Sheriff's Office is committed to learning from experience in order to improve its performance and the essential services it provides to the public," he said. "As a result of lessons learned from the Lukus Glenn incident and other incidents, the sheriff's office has made changes in policy, resources and training.”

Garrett said the sheriff’s office would continue to monitor use-of-force incidents and carefully examine policies, training, supervision and resources.

The $2.575 million will come, first, from the county’s liability fund. The remainder will be spread over the next two fiscal years from county operating funds.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine