April 22nd, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Cops and Courts

Widow of Eugene Cop Files Suit Against His Killer in Portland

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The widow of Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen—shot and killed during a traffic stop two years ago today—is suing his killer and his insurance company in Multnomah County.

Filed April 17, the case asks for $5.75 million for his wrongful death.

Kilcullen, 43, was shot once in the chest and died on April 22, 2011, after he stopped Cheryl Kidd, 56, following a pursuit on Interstate 105 in Springfield. He had two children with his wife, Kristie Sampson-Kilcullen.

Kilcullen was the first Eugene police officer to be killed since 1934, The Register-Guard reported.

Kidd is a diagnosed schizophrenic and was found unfit for trial. She is lodged at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem until she is found fit for legal proceedings.

The civil suit, attorney Don Corson says, is partially to give the family answers to questions that won't be answered any time soon in a criminal case.

"Kristie Kilcullen and her children have been more than you can imagine," Corson tells WW. "We're hoping (the civil suit) will help the family get some information and get some closure."

The suit says that Kidd was negligent for purchasing a .38 caliber handgun, despite her uncontrolled mental illness. The suit also charges that Kidd was also involved in a high-speed police chase before her  on Dec. 25, 2010, and though the officer in that traffic stop told her to stop driving until she could be retested, she did not stop driving.

"The negligence of defendant Kidd...was a substantial factor in causing Officer Kilcullen to suffer injuries that resulted in pain, terror, anguish mental suffering and his death at age 43," the lawsuit reads. 

The suit also names American Family Insurance, Kilcullen's insurer. It says that though Kilcullen had uninsured motorist coverage, the company has not paid, nor offered to pay, any money for his death.

His widow is entitled to the money, the suit says, because Kilcullen's death "was caused by and arose out of the uninsured or underinsured driver's negligent ownership, maintenance or use of her automobile."

The suit seeks the full amount of the losses from his death, up to the maximum as allowed by his insurance contract.

 
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