St Louis, MO – Federal judge, E. Richard Webber, has ordered the parents of Michael Brown to turn over requested medical and education records in their wrongful-death lawsuit.
Their son was killed by former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in an officer-involved shooting in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
According to Fox2 Now St Louis, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber issued the order on Wednesday, over the protests of his parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lezley McSpadden. The records that have been requested are: the parents’ medical records for the past five years, their son’s education records, and certain medical documents.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge Webber said that the documentation must be turned over to defense attorneys by Tuesday. He said “The court will not limit the medical records to treatment sought by the plaintiffs for damages specifically related to this matter because (the) defendants will need to evaluate whether the claimed injuries actually occurred as a result of the death of their son.”
The documentation was requested by the defense attorneys who represent the City of Ferguson, the former Police Officer who was involved, and the former Police Chief of the Ferguson Police Department. In the lawsuit, Brown’s parents state they have “sustained permanent injuries including mental anguish” since his death.
Judge Webber dismissed the parents’ claim that the release of the records was “harassing and invasive” by further stating “Repeatedly asserting the same objections to each request is not enough to protect against disclosure.” Attorneys for Brown’s parents have argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages. Attorneys for the defendants have countered that Brown’s complete medical records are necessary and relevant in determining his ‘potenital life expectancy and future income.’
In a book that she wrote in 2016, Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden said that her son had “high blood pressure, headaches, impaired vision and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” The medical records that Judge Webber ordered released include Brown’s medical history since he was 10-years-old.
The Judge also ordered the release of Brown’s parents’ tax returns since 2009, stating that it was “a straightforward way” in assessing how their income has changed since Brown’s death. He also ordered that records of any income that was made from “sales of merchandise or memorabilia featuring their son’s likeness, as well as proceeds from any GoFundMe campaigns or other fundraisers linked to his death” must be released as well.
The wrongful-death lawsuit occurred after a St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for defending his life by shooting Michael Brown. The shooting and the grand jury’s decision led to days of chaos and out-of-control rioting in Ferguson, Missouri. It was a catalyst for the violent, anti-police Black Lives Matter movement. A U.S. Department of Justice investigation also cleared former Officer Wilson in the death, and stated that he acted in self-defense.
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