(Reuters) – The estate of a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died a day after the Jan. 6, 2021, riots sued former President Donald Trump for wrongful death on Thursday, claiming that he incited his supporters to commit violence that day.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington against Trump on behalf of the estate of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died at age 42 from a series of strokes on Jan. 7.
A medical examiner said that Sicknick had not suffered any injuries during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers were certifying results of the presidential election, ruling that Sicknick's death was due to natural causes, but said the violent events of Jan. 6 likely "played a role in his condition."
"Defendant Trump intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and attack those who opposed them," Sicknick's estate claims in the court papers.
"The violence that followed, and the injuries that violence caused, including the injuries sustained by Officer Sicknick and his eventual death, were reasonable and foreseeable consequences of Defendant Trump’s words and conduct," the lawsuit alleges.
A spokeswoman for Trump could not be reached for comment on Thursday evening.
In addition to wrongful death, the lawsuit accuses Trump of violating Sicknick's civil rights, assault and negligence. The estate seeks $10 million in damages. Two Jan. 6 protesters were also named in the complaint.
A Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives panel probing the events of Jan. 6 asked federal prosecutors in December to charge Trump with obstruction and insurrection.
The committee's request to the U.S. Department of Justice marked the first time that Congress referred a former president for criminal prosecution.
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