Kyle Rittenhouse: Victim’s father’s wrongful-death lawsuit may go forward


Wrongful death lawsuit filed by father of fatally shot man Kyle Rittenhouse during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, can move forward, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Wednesday.

Rittenhouse shot three men at a protest in August 2020 for racial justice, killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. He was acquitted of all charges by a jury in 2021, but Huber’s father, John Huber, filed a civil suit over his son’s death.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys sought to dismiss the case, arguing that Huber’s attorneys failed to properly serve him with a copy of the complaint and failed to prove that he conspired with law enforcement and others to inflict violence on protesters based on their race.

“We do not agree that Mr. Huber has made any credible claims against Kyle,” Shane P. Martin, a lawyer for Rittenhouse, told The Washington Post in an interview Thursday. “While this decision allows the case to continue for the time being, it does not change the facts.” … There was simply no conspiracy between Kyle and the Kenosha police to single out Anthony Huber, and as a jury has already found, Kyle’s actions that night were not unlawful and were taken in self-defense.”

Videos from Aug. 25 show Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged with first-degree murder, interacting with law enforcement before and after the shootings. (Video: Elyse Samuels, Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

Rittenhouse hit the streets of Kenosha with an AR-style rifle in August 2020, saying he wanted to help protect businesses amid the unrest that followed police shooting of jacob blake. But during a brief standoff, Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum, 36, and Huber, 26. He also shot and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, then 26. Rittenhouse, who claimed he acted in self-defense, faced a potential life sentence if convicted.

Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges in polarizing Kenosha murder trial

“[Yesterday’s] the ruling puts the Anthony family one step closer to justice for their son’s unnecessary death,” Anand Swaminathan, an attorney representing Huber’s father, said in an email to The Post. “The case will proceed to discovery, allowing full transparency into the events of that fateful and tragic evening.”

Huber’s suit names Rittenhouse, Kenosha County Sheriff David G. Bett, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel G. Miskinis, current Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen, the city of Kenosha and Kenosha County.

Attorneys for the law enforcement agencies and government officials who were sued did not immediately respond to messages from The Post seeking comment.

Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that he was not properly served because he does not live at the Florida residence where his sister, who answered the door and obtained the court documents, and his mother live.

In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman wrote that Huber’s attorneys went to great lengths to find Rittenhouse’s permanent residence in order to serve him with the court documents, while Rittenhouse was “deliberately vague about his whereabouts.”

Huber “hired three professional investigators who spent more than 100 hours searching for Rittenhouse across the country,” Adelman wrote. “Rittenhouse, by contrast, is almost certainly avoiding the service.”

He also rejected the defense’s contention that Huber’s lawyers had not properly argued that Rittenhouse conspired with law enforcement on the night of the protests.

On November 19, there were celebrations and gunfire outside the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges. (Video: James Cornsilk, Laura Diane Kezman/The Washington Post, Photo: Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

While some may find the conspiracy claim “difficult to believe,” Adelman wrote, this is not the time for the court to “weigh the evidence” or “decide whether the plaintiff is likely to succeed in proving his allegations.”

“As long as the facts alleged by the plaintiff are not fanciful or fraudulent, the court must accept them as true,” Adelman wrote. “The decision as to whether the allegations are true or false comes later in the case, after all parties have had an opportunity to present their evidence.”

Mark Guarino, Kim Belware and Mark Berman contributed to this report.

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