SPOKANE, WASH. - The negotiations beginning today in the Otto Zehm civil suit are not open to the public. Several major players are inside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Spokane right now including Mayor David Condon and Karl Thompson's Defense Attorney Carl Oreskovich.
They're discussing a settlement for the 14.5 million dollar civil suit filed against nine Spokane Police Officers by the mother and estate of Otto Zehm. The suit was filed in 2009 following the 2006 incident in the North Spokane Zip Trip that eventually led to Zehm's death.
This has nothing to do with former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson's criminal case. A jury convicted Thompson in November of last year for the use of excessive force and lying to investigators about his run-in with Otto Zehm.
U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan from Eugene, Oregon will oversee the mediation. Hogan became a magistrate judge in 1973 and did that until 1991 when President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the U.S. District Court. Hogan comes highly regarded in mediation after settling several high profile cases in recent years.