Jury rules against Babb family in wrongful death suit

The jury found the use of force to be justified.

Posted: Feb 25, 2020 1:43 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2020 6:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – A federal jury rejected a lawsuit filed by the family of Brian Babb, a veteran who was killed by Eugene police in March 2015, saying officers were not negligent when they shot him.

“The jury spoke," said Andrew Stroth, an attorney for the family. "We disagree with the outcome. We think the shooting was unjustified, but we accept the jury’s decision today.”

Babb was an Afghanistan war veteran with physical and mental health issues.


His family was seeking $7.5 million from the city of Eugene due to what they believe was an unreasonable use of deadly force.

KEZI 9 News spoke to Brian's sister Stephanie just moments after the verdict was read.

“We were really lucky that we got as far as we did," Stephanie Babb said. "There are so many families that have been in the same position and have never gotten this far. If we can be a voice for those families, then that’s okay."

According to the lawsuit Babb called his therapist, telling her he had fired his weapon into the floor to “see how it sounded.” She told him to unload it and store it in his truck. Fearing Babb was in a crisis, she called 911.

In the response that followed the situation escalated and a Eugene officer shot and killed Babb, who had reportedly opened his front door and pointed a rifle at the officer.

The lawsuit claims the therapist had only asked for a welfare check.

"This was about the process," Babb said. "This was about awareness. This was about changing laws. This was about my brother and those kids being able to know that we put all this time and energy into fighting for Brian and what that means to us."

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