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Taylor Rock Case Headed to Mediation

Thursday, August, 11, 2016


A federal judge recently ordered mediation for disputing parties involved in a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Tayler Rock. The judge issued the order this past July and told the parties they have until May 12, 2017 to meet with a mediator and avoid going to trial.


Rock was fatally shot by Steven Deill, an officer with the Cowley County Sheriff’s Department on May 31, 2014. The shooting occurred during a traffic stop east of Ark City. The civil suit was filed by the family in December 2015 in the US District Court for the District of Kansas. In addition to Deill, Cowley County, its county commissioners, and two former corrections officers are also named as defendants. The suit was filed on behalf of the estate of Tayler Rock and Rock’s heirs by his mother.


If mediation proves unsuccessful, a jury trial would be schedule for December 5, 2017. Those involved have been ordered to continue to conduct depositions and review evidence as the mediation process moves forward.


There were no criminal charges filed in the case after Cowley County Attorney Chris Smith determined the shooting was justified. Rock’s family settled with Cowley County officials for $2.5 million before filing the lawsuit.


The judge who ordered mediation determined the court would also deny a request by Rock’s attorneys seeking Deill’s address and phone number. According to the judge, Deill had told the court he’d been threatened by the plaintiffs and moved his family to a new location for protection. It is this new information Rock’s attorneys had requested. The judge ordered attorneys for the plaintiff to contact him through his attorneys when necessary instead.