$3.5M Settlement

On June 18, 2017, Charleena Lyles, a Black pregnant mother experiencing a mental health crisis, called the police for help. Shortly after two SPD officers arrived, they fired their weapons, shooting seven bullets into the front and back of Charleena. She was killed within mere feet of her then two year and four-year-old children. A third child had been sleeping in his bed just down the hall.

The Estate and Children of Charleena Lyles represented through Commissioner Eric Watness, retained The Stritmatter Firm to bring a wrongful death action against the City of Seattle and its police department. The lower court initially dismissed the lawsuit against the officers. But The Stritmatter Firm appealed the decision which was overturned in February 2021. The case was remanded to King County Superior Court and set for trial in February 2022.

On November 29, 2021, at 10:30 pm, the case settled for $3.5 Million. Our City has a long way to go to create more compassion and equity in the way it polices people with mental illness – particularly those of color and/or those who are marginalized. The resolution of the civil lawsuit does not impact the inquest proceedings which were also delayed by appeal.



Every case is different and results depend on their specific circumstances. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.