A jury trial started this week in a civil lawsuit filed by two daughters of a murdered Federal Way woman in which they accuse Federal Way police of negligence and failing to follow standard police practices.
Baerbel Roznowski , 66, was stabbed to death May 3, 2008, by her live-in boyfriend, Chan Ok “Paul” Kim, three hours after he was served with an anti-harassment order by police.
Roznowski’s daughters allege police were negligent in how they delivered the protective order to Roznowski’s home. They say officer Andy Hensing handed it to Kim and left with him still there, even though the officer saw Roznowksi in the house.
Hensing failed to follow proper police practices and make sure Kim left the house, according to the lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court.
The suit against the City of Federal Way also says Hensing failed to use an interpreter to make sure Kim, a Korean American who didn’t understand or speak English well, knew he needed to leave the house immediately and not return.
“He didn’t enforce the order,” said Jack Connelly, an attorney for the two daughters. By not removing Kim, Hensing “increased the danger,” Connelly said Friday.
The city maintains Hensing “properly served” the anti-harassment order on Kim, court documents state.
“He complied with all the requirements set by the court and applicable Washington law,” according to the city’s motion for summary judgment.
Hensing said in his police report that when he delivered the order at 8:08 a.m., he saw someone in the background but couldn’t determine if the person was male or female. Hensing said he told Kim to leave and comply with the order, and Kim told him he understood.
Kim pleaded guilty in January to killing Roznowski, agreeing to a reduced charge of second-degree murder. Kim, now 71, was sentenced in March to the maximum prison term of 20 years and four months.
The civil trial started Monday at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. Closing arguments are expected to take place around Dec. 20.
The civil lawsuit filed in May 2009 does not specify a dollar amount for damages. The daughters, who live in the Los Angeles area, had previously filed a tort claim against the city, seeking $8 million to $12 million.