The family of a 30-year-old Washington businessman, who was shot to death last July while acting as a police decoy, has sued the District of Columbia government for $43 million.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court, the widow and two daughters of Elton L. Grant charged the city government with negligence and failing to devise a plan that would "adequately protect" Grant.

While a dozen police officers looked on, Grant was shot once in the throat and robbed by three men outside the Park Road branch of the Riggs National Bank on July 21, minutes after he had withdrawn his $2,500 weekly payroll.

The suit also charges that Grant, who owned a flooring and refinishing firm at 7325 Georgia Ave, NW, "expressed fear and concern" about the decoy plan but participated in it "at the insistance and urging" of city police officers.

A week before the shooting Grant had learned of a plan to rob him and had gone to police at the 4th District. Then the decoy plan was arranged, according to the suit.

The three men, Arthur Swarn, 26; Melvin Stewart, 23, and Leonard J. Anderson, 23, all of whom pleaded guilty to second degree murder and other charges in connection with the shooting, are currently serving sentences ranging from 12 years to life imprisonment at Lorton, the city's prison in Fairfax County. India Stroman, 21, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and armed robbery in connection with the shooting, is awaiting sentencing.

Grant's widow, Ruth, 33, lives with her daughters Terri, 12 and Kelley, 4, in Reston.