A federal judge has dismissed three of the five civil counts in a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and two others, Julian Khater and George Tanios, in connection with the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the January 6 Capitol riots. The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, came as part of a lawsuit filed by Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s girlfriend.
Garza’s lawsuit sought damages from Trump, Khater, and Tanios for claims of wrongful death, conspiracy to violate civil rights, and negligence per se based on Washington D.C.’s anti-riot law. However, Judge Mehta’s decision dismissed the wrongful death act count and both negligence per se allegations against the defendants.
Despite the dismissal of these counts, the lawsuit will proceed with Garza’s claims under D.C.’s Survival Act and the conspiracy to violate a civil rights claim. The Survival Act allows a deceased individual’s legal representative to pursue legal action on their behalf.
Officer Sicknick, who had been a member of the Capitol Police since July 2008, was involved in the response to the riot at the Capitol and was pepper-sprayed by Khater and Tanios. He was hospitalized but later died from two thromboembolic strokes. The D.C. medical examiner’s office determined that Sicknick died of natural causes from the strokes, but noted that the events of January 6 played a role in his condition.
The dismissal of these counts against Trump and the other defendants is part of a series of legal challenges related to the former president’s alleged role in the Capitol riot. Trump’s legal team had previously sought to dismiss civil claims seeking to hold him accountable for the riot on the basis of presidential immunity, but this effort was rejected by a federal appeals court last month.