Lake Hallie Walmart dropped from shooting lawsuit

UPDATE: Family members of a woman shot and killed by a police officer inside an area Walmart have lost their lawsuit.

Chippewa County Judge James Isaacson issued a ruling this week, clearing Walmart. Family members of Melissa Abbott were suing the retailer for the 2016 incident.

Abbott, a resident of the Northern Center for the Developmentally Disabled, was on a field trip to the Lake Hallie Walmart when she became enraged and grabbed a camping hatchet off a store shelf and started swinging it.  

She was shot and killed when she lunged at a Lake Hallie officer with it.  

The judge found Walmart had no duty to protect Abbott from herself.

The family also alleged the director of the Northern Center was responsible for supervising Abbott, but the judge said she is entitled to immunity – which protects government officials. 
 


UPDATE: A Chippewa County judge ruled the Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled cannot be sued. 

While the center has been dropped from the suit, Its director, Jacqueline Neurohr, has not. The judge also denied a motion to drop Walmart from the suit. 

Last week lawyers for the Abbott estate agreed to drop the Village of Lake Hallie, its police department, and one of its officers from the suit. Neurohr and Walmart are now the only defendants.

It was last year that Melissa Abbott, a resident of the Northern Center for the Developmentally Disabled, grabbed a hatchet off a store shelf and started swinging it around. Police and witnesses said she lunged at a Lake Hallie officer, who then shot and killed her. 


December 15, 2017
UPDATE
: The family of a woman shot and killed by a police officer inside the Lake Hallie Walmart has agreed to dismiss some of the defendants in its lawsuit.

It was last year that Melissa Abbott, a resident of the Northern Center for the Developmentally Disabled, grabbed a hatchet off a store shelf and started swinging it around. Police and witnesses said she lunged at a Lake Hallie officer, who then shot and killed her. 

Newly filed court documents show lawyers for Abbott’s estate have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit against the Village of Lake Hallie, its police department, And officer Aadam Meyers, who fired the shots, but was found to be justified by the district attorney.

According to the documents, that portion of the suit is being dismissed without costs to either side. 

At this point, Walmart and the Northern Center are still named as defendants. The suit claims they were negligent in Abbott’s death. 

A hearing is set for Tuesday in Chippewa County Court. 


The shooting death of a woman by police inside a local store is now the subject of a lawsuit.

Melissa Abbott, a resident of the Northern Center for the Developmentally Disabled, was shot by a Lake Hallie police officer at the Walmart store last April. 
Police and witnesses said she was swinging a hatchet around the store, refused police commands to drop it, and had lunged at an officer with it when she was shot.

Now her family is suing the village, it’s police department and the officer who shot her, along with the Northern Center, and Walmart.   The lawsuit claims they were all negligent in her death and that their conduct was excessive and unreasonable.

The suit seeks unspecified compensation, including punitive damages.  It also asks a judge to order the village, the police department and the Northern Center to provide necessary training to protect the rights of citizens, and patients of the Northern Center.

One month after the shooting occurred the district attorney found that the officer acted in self defense when he shot Abbott.
 

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