Man sues City of Wheeling for family member's wrongful death

By Kyla Asbury | May 19, 2015

WHEELING - A man is suing the City of Wheeling for the wrongful death of his family member.

Officers Benjamin J. Young and Dennis A. Davis were also named as defendants in the suit.

On June 30, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Young and Davis were dispatched to the residence of Michael Leslie Washam in Wheeling, according to a complaint initially filed April 13 in Ohio Circuit Court and removed to federal court on May 1.

Timothy Ruffin, as administrator of Washam's estate, claims Young and Davis, without cause, need or explanation, used physical control of Washam during the course of an arrest.

Young and Davis used inappropriate, unwarranted, unjustifiable and excessive force against Washam in an attempt to gain physical control of him, according to the suit.

Ruffin claims the officers' conduct constituted excessive force, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The officers were acting in the scope of their employment and they were responsible for Washam's wrongful death, according to the suit.

Ruffin is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Alex J. Shook and Andrew G. Meek of Hamstead, Williams & Shook PLLC.

The defendants were represented by Thomas E. Buck and Bruce M. Clark of Bailey & Wyant PLLC.

The case is assigned to District Judge John Preston Bailey.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:15-cv-00053

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