SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 7, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Susan Hunt over how much her attorney should receive in the settlement over the death of her son.
In a decision released Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell said the decision of how much, if any, of the settlement money should go to Hunt’s former attorney, Robert Sykes, is best to be decided by the state courts.
“The federal question here is essentially resolved,” Campbell said in her decision. “All that is left are matters that turn exclusively on state law and, in the process, wade into waters completely regulated by the state.”
Campbell is the same judge who ruled earlier that Hunt is required to take the settlement of $900,000 from the city of Saratoga Springs after her attorney presented evidence that proved Hunt said she would.
Hunt has hired new attorneys that said Sykes committed malpractice and professional violations during the time he represented her. Hunt and her current attorneys are disputing Sykes’ claim for payment of services to be paid as part of the settlement.
The judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit also opens up the option for Hunt to file an appeal of the prior order requiring her to accept the settlement in the case.
Hunt’s son, 22-year-old Darrien Hunt, was killed in 2014 by two Saratoga Springs police officers who said he swung the authentic-looking sword he was carrying before they shot him in the back.
Darrien Hunt’s family has strongly disputed the allegation, saying he was wearing a costume samurai sword that was part of a Japanese anime costume.