No sue for you

February 7, 2014

Marie Mills holds a picture of her father, Medric Cecil Mills. She and family members could be severely limited in their ability to sue the city over his death. (Jahi Chikwendiu/ The Washington Post)

The death of Medric Cecil Mills Jr. would appear to be a trial lawyer’s dream: A innocent citizen, pillar of his community, collapses and dies on a sidewalk while bystanders desperately seek help from the firehouse across the street — only to be ignored by those inside. A no-brainer of a lawsuit, right? Not in the District of Columbia, where an unusually strict legal doctrine protects the city from such torts. The Mills family appeared Thursday with their lawyer, Karen E. Evans of the Cochran Firm, and called on city leaders to change the so-called “public duty doctrine” to allow for greater accountability. “Things like this keep happening,” Evans said. “Enough is enough.” More from WaTimesWTTG-TVWAMU-FMCity Desk and DCist.

In other news:

Mary Oates Walker, D.C.’s top administrative law judge, is accused of serious ethics violations (Post)

Homelessness becomes issue at Ward 4 Dems forum, while Muriel Bowser wins plurality in straw poll (PostDofDLoose LipsWAMU-FMDCistWUSA-TV)

Gray administration’s response to rise in homeless families is “disconcerting,” but right-to-shelter law may need tweaks (Post editorial)

Many big-city school districts spend much more classroom time on standardized testing than DCPS does (Post)

Jim Graham is dismissed from lawsuit filed by erstwhile Metro-land developers (PostWBJWAMU-FMAP)

Andy Shallal, the outsider we deserve? (City Paper)

Busboys hosts pro-Hugo Chavez event; Shallal gets conservative-media grief (WaTimes)

Judge is expected to decide today whether AG race will appear on primary ballot (APDCist)

Agreement over Jeffrey Thompson documents contemplates possible “personnel action” against city employees (Loose Lips)

Objections to soccer-stadium poll question are “amazing example of hair-splitting obfuscation” (DCFPI)

Here’s how Housing First works (WAMU-FM)

In praise of our civic-minded neighbors (Post column)

Gray picks up much-expected endorsement from AFSCME (Loose Lips)

Ward 6 council candidate Shelonda Tillman drops Democratic run, will contest general election (Hill Rag)

Sixth District police headquarters will move to the former Merritt Middle School (AP)

Environmental review means it will be months, at minimum, before Rock Creek bike trail is fixed up (WAMU-FM)

Developer Tim Chapman donates $10,000 for foster kids (Informer)

Park at a broken meter at your own risk (WTOP)

Yes, urban farm will eventually be displaced by Northwest One development (DCist)

Deborah Simmons is pro-libraries (WaTimes)

Big Chair Coffee is back (GOG)

14th Street gets a prostitution-themed bar (Young & Hungry)

January was a bad month to be a water main (Dr. Gridlock)

Behold Brightwood Park (Post Real Estate)

We’re so literate (again) (DCist)

See pics of the Beatles’ first U.S. concert, at Uline Arena (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
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