Man Defends Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Casper Police Who Shot His Brother
The brother of a man who was killed in a shootout with Casper police officers in May 2018 has until March 12 to respond to the city, police department and the officers that want to dismiss his civil rights lawsuit against them, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled Thursday.
Daniel Wolosin -- representing himself and eight other family members -- claimed the officers acted unlawfully, lacked training, and deviated from law enforcement practices when they shot his brother David during a confrontation in May 2018, according to his lawsuit filed Nov. 25.
He is seeking $500,000 in damages for his family members but not himself.
"I'm just trying to help my parents get justice for their son that was wrongfully taken from this earth," he told K2 Radio News on Thursday.
The city, department and officers rejected Wolosin's assertions in motions filed on Jan. 27, saying he has little if any grounds in fact or in law to make his claims, according to the attorneys -- Hampton O'Neill for all defendants, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Brian Marvel for the officers.
The shooting happened on May 6, 2018, during a confrontation when officers Jacob Carlson and Randi Garrett were called to a vacant lot near Fairdale Park where David Wolosin was letting a small child drive a car. Another child was in the car and both were nephews.
The confrontation escalated when, according to a police department video, Carlson tried to grab David Wolosin, who pulls out a gun and shoots Carlson. A round from Garrett's gun killed Wolosin. Carlson was hospitalized for his injuries for a month and has since retired.
A joint investigation by the Natrona County District Attorney's Office and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation cleared Garrett and Carlson of any wrongdoing.
But Daniel Wolosin isn't giving up.
Wolosin is representing himself in his lawsuit, and courts allow pro se parties some leniency for them because they are not lawyers.
The request for the extension was for him to have the same amount of time the city and officers had to respond to his lawsuit, he said.
"I'm not trying to play a lawyer, I'm just trying to speak for my parents because they are the ones that have the legal grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit because they are the next of kin legally," Wolosin said.
The family has had attorneys get information, but he's skeptical of them. "We know that there's merit to the case; we know that we have a good case," Wolosin. "I don't care for lawyers, they're a bunch of bloodsuckers."
That said, he'd be open to hiring an attorney, but they would have to be someone the family could trust and would not get into the mudslinging that has vilified his brother, he said.
However, attorneys representing the city and officers noted earlier that Daniel Wolosin cannot make a wrongful death claim because he's not saying his rights were violated, but that others' rights were violated.
"Furthermore, neither Wolosin nor any family member may utilize a claim of excessive force against the Decedent as a basis for a wrongful death claim," Marvel wrote.
That would mean he is acting an attorney, which he is not, O'Neill wrote.
"Finally, Mr. Wolosin may also be violating Wyoming's unauthorized practice of law ... which further complicates his efforts to represent all the claimants in this case," he wrote.