Civil Suit By Dede Family Against Markus Kaarma Continues [YouTube]
While Markus Kaarma is serving a 70-year sentence for deliberate homicide after being convicted in the shotgun killing of Diren Dede, the slain teen's family is pursuing civil damages from the Kaarmas.
David Paoli, the Missoula attorney representing the Dede family, described the reasons for the civil suit.
"The nature of the case is that it's a wrongful death survival claim for the injuries and losses occasioned by the death of Diren Dede," Paoli said. The claim amount exceeds $75,000, and Paoli explains the reason for that amount. "If the claim is not over $75,000, then you cannot file it in federal court."
Paoli clarifies the difference between a criminal and a civil proceeding.
"The criminal case is brought on behalf of the state against individuals who have been accused of committing a serious crime," he said. "The civil lawsuit is brought for monetary damages to compensate the family, the parents and siblings for the loss, care, comfort and companionship that he would have provided throughout the years."
Paoli said no set amount has yet been determined by the Dede family that they will seek against Kaarma and his common-law wife, Janelle Pflager, however, he did discuss the hoped-for outcome of the civil action.
"I think the hoped-for outcome is yet to be seen," he said. "The people of our community have already spoken about what the consider to be a very serious crime that the jury found Markus Kaarma guilty of, and in this instance the lawsuit has been filed against Kaarma and Janelle Pflager, and so we will do our work, and develop the case that needs to be developed, and if need be, ask another jury to award damages that are appropriate under the circumstances."
In the latest court document, Janelle Pflager states that Diren Dede "assumed any and all risks associated with entering the garage at the Kaarma residence', and that 'Diren Dede, in whole or in part, was comparatively negligent to a degree equal to or exceeding that of Janelle Pflager, and as such, any claims by Plaintiff against Janelle are barred or proportionally reduced'.
Pflager also repeated the assertion filed in District Court, that extensive media coverage of the trial prejudiced the potential jury pool, asking again that the venue be changed. She, along with Kaarma, demand a trial by jury on all the issues.