Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Court nixes lawsuit by family of slain Nebraska inmate
editor's pick

Court nixes lawsuit by family of slain Nebraska inmate

  • Updated
{{featured_button_text}}

The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the rejection of a lawsuit brought by the family of an inmate killed in 2017 by another inmate.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by the estate of 22-year-old Terry Berry, who was killed in April 2017 by his new cellmate, Patrick Schroeder.

Patrick Schroeder sentenced to death for killing cellmate; 12 now on Nebraska's death row

The lawsuit accused the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services of negligence and wrongful death for putting Schroeder — who was known by prison officials to be bad-tempered — in the same cell with Berry. Schroeder readily admitted to strangling Berry, saying he killed the talkative Berry after warning him several times to “shut up.” Schroeder, who was already serving a life sentence for the 2006 murder of a 75-year-old Pawnee City farmer, is on death row for Berry's killing.

In its ruling, the state's high court said that state law so broadly defines government immunity that it had no choice but to uphold dismissal of the lawsuit. It suggested that the “Legislature may wish to revisit the state’s sovereign immunity in cases such as the one presented by this appeal.”

In a dissent, Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman argued the majority wrongly bucked precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court on immunity and said the lawsuit should have been allowed to go before a jury.

Judge rules lawsuit can go forward over Scottsbluff man's killing at hands of Tecumseh prison cellmate
Terry Berry's family sues prison over slaying by Tecumseh cellmate
Death sentence upheld for Nebraska prisoner who killed cellmate for talking too much
0
1
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News