Former President Donald Trump has achieved a partial legal victory after a federal judge dismissed the wrongful death claim against him in the civil lawsuit filed by Sandra Garza, partner of the late U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Sicknick passed away a day after the January 6 Capitol riot, having been attacked by rioters.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Garza, who was not married or a legal domestic partner to Sicknick, lacked the standing to bring wrongful death and negligence claims. However, the lawsuit continues on other grounds, including potential violations of Washington, D.C.'s Survival Act and conspiracy to violate civil rights. Garza seeks $30 million in damages.
Trump and co-defendants Julian Khater and George Tanios, both convicted in the January 6 riot, are implicated in the suit. Despite the partial dismissal, Garza’s lawyer Mark S. Zaid expressed satisfaction that the lawsuit is proceeding and mentioned considering deposing Trump as their next step.
The lawsuit, filed on January 5, 2023, alleged Trump and his co-defendants' "intentional words and actions" contributed to Sicknick's death. It claimed Trump incited the rioters with false claims of a "stolen" 2020 election.
Dr. Francisco Diaz, D.C.'s chief medical examiner, determined Sicknick's death was due to natural causes - two strokes - after collapsing post-riot. Trump, facing 91 felony counts including charges related to the Capitol attack, has not been directly charged in connection to Sicknick's death. He denies wrongdoing, calling his legal challenges a "witch hunt" and "election interference."