The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the employment law firm at the center of a massive wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer is entitled to $1.2 billion in damages from the widow of the victim.
The decision is likely to cause a headache for firms that handle such claims, and it could delay the implementation of a law mandating an equal pay for women.
It could also increase the pressure on federal agencies to improve the protections for women and minorities.
The ruling is expected to be heard on Wednesday by the full 9th U.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case, Harriett v.
Wade, involves the death in 2013 of Joshua Wade, a 17-year-old high school student in Mississippi who was fatally shot by a white officer after he had been pulled over by a black patrolman.
Wade’s mother sued the officer, Harriman, claiming he violated Wade’s civil rights by using excessive force, and she was granted $1 billion in a civil settlement.
Harrimans lawyers also sued the city of Jackson, alleging that Wade had been subjected to discriminatory policing and a hostile work environment.
The city denied wrongdoing, but Harrimany sued to get the money.
The trial court found that Harrimand had “no standing” to sue.
After the Supreme Court ruled that Wade was not entitled to damages, Wade’s widow filed a wrongful death suit.
Wade was killed by police officer Matthew Harrimancz on Feb. 18, 2013.
Harriamancz testified that Wade ran toward him and his girlfriend, who was in the passenger seat, and punched him in the face.
The officers then fired, striking Wade in the head and chest.
He died at a local hospital.
The officer who fired was charged with manslaughter and misconduct in office.
Department of Justice later agreed to a settlement of the civil case, but the case remains pending.
In an unusual decision, the Supreme Courts decision did not address the validity of the statute of limitations.
The federal government had previously said that Wade’s wrongful death claim would be considered in court, but a federal judge had said that the time limits were too onerous.
“The government has indicated it intends to address this issue by filing an amicus brief in the case, and the DOJ will file its brief on the motion,” said a spokeswoman for the U.N. Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act.
In the case of the wrongful death of Harrimanie Wade, the court found “that the plaintiff has not alleged an individualized right to a jury trial, or a duty to prove damages, beyond the federal civil remedies.”
In a ruling in October, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the court’s liberal wing, said the law did not allow a jury to be convened to consider the facts of the case.
The law, she said, “makes clear that a plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s conduct violated the defendant ‘s fundamental right to life.”
The ruling by the justices is a rare acknowledgment that the law can sometimes be a barrier to lawsuits.
In January, a federal appeals court ruled that an individual’s right to sue in federal court can be violated when an employer has failed to pay the minimum wage, which is set by the federal government at $7.25 per hour.
The court found the employer was not liable for a worker’s wage claim when the employer did not pay it.
A number of states have passed legislation to require wage increases and other protections for workers, including raising the minimum age to 16 from 16 in some states and mandating overtime pay for the first two weeks of the year.
That legislation has failed in several states, including Michigan, South Dakota, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The Supreme Court in the Wade case also said the city must pay $200,000 to the widow, which the family of Harriane Wade declined to pay.
The suit also sought to force the city to hire an outside law firm to represent the family, but that effort has stalled.
The Justice Department, which filed a brief in support of the Wades, said Harrimann had a conflict of interest because he was the chief executive of Harria Inc., which was an independent law firm that did not represent Wade’s family.
The lawyers for the city and Harrimantic also argued that the city’s response to the lawsuit was inadequate because it did not adequately explain the nature of Harris wrongful death claims and the impact on the city.
In addition, they said, the city failed to provide Wade with a copy of the law suit and the city had not made any attempt to consult with Harriancz, who has not been indicted.
The lawsuit was filed in the U, S. District Court in Mississippi and the U., S. Court of Federal Claims