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Lawsuit involving fatal Spokane officer-involved shooting of headed to trial; father settles, mother and sister press lawsuit

Sept. 13, 2022 Updated Tue., Sept. 13, 2022 at 9:03 p.m.

The city has settled a lawsuit connected to the police shooting death of David Novak.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
The city has settled a lawsuit connected to the police shooting death of David Novak. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The city of Spokane has settled with one of the plaintiffs of the wrongful death lawsuit connected with the death of David Novak, who was shot and killed by Spokane police in 2019.

The Spokane City Council voted Monday to authorize a $275,000 settlement with Michael Novak, David Novak’s father. Michael Novak joined the lawsuit lodged by David Novak’s mother, Debra Novak, and sister, Crystal Jenkins, a few months after it was filed in January 2021.

The father chose to settle with the city, while the mother and daughter continue on with the lawsuit.

The trial is scheduled to commence next week in Spokane County Superior Court, with jury selection expected to take place Monday and Tuesday ahead of opening arguments, said Rondi Thorp, an attorney for the Novak family. Thorp declined to comment about the settlement, while attorneys for Michael Novak could not be immediately reached Tuesday.

David Novak, who was 35, was shot and killed by Spokane police Officer Brandon Rankin when police mistook the sounds of him banging a baseball bat against a car as gunshots.

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell justified Rankin’s use of deadly force following an investigation.

Debra Novak, a member of the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, has advocated for police reform in the time since her son’s death.

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