Federal Way loses appeal over officer's actions

The News Tribune

March 27, 2012

The state Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a jury’s verdict that the City of Federal Way was negligent because its police officer failed to enforce an anti-harassment protection order, resulting in the death of a woman at the hands of her live-in boyfriend in 2008.

The city had appealed a jury’s award in late 2010 of $1.1 million to the estate of Baerbel Roznowski in a civil lawsuit brought by her daughters, Carola Washburn and Janet Loh, against the city.

Roznowski, 66, was stabbed to death May 3, 2008, by Chan Ok “Paul” Kim, three hours after Federal Way police officer Andy Hensing delivered an anti-harassment protective order. Hensing handed the order to Kim and left with him still there, even though the officer had observed Roznowski in the house, according to court documents.

The city argued Hensing had no legal duty beyond what he did and that the case should have been dismissed.

But the Court of Appeals, Division I, found Hensing “failed to enforce the express provisions of the Superior Court’s order that were intended to protect Roznowski from harm.”

The Court of Appeals also upheld the granting of a new trial on damages to Washburn and Loh.

By Steve Maynard, The News Tribune

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