Local family sues City of Italy

A lawsuit was filed on November 9, 2017 by Shelley and Randy Huskins in the 443rd District Court of Ellis County against the City of Italy. The lawsuit alleges the damages and injuries suffered by their family were the direct and proximate result of the negligence, deliberate indifference, gross negligence and callous disregard of them.

On November 11, 2016 the Huskins family returned home from a football game to find their home had been broken into. They called 911 and shortly thereafter, an Italy police officer arrived with a body camera on and operating and proceeded to investigate within their residence.

The following allegations are in #10 and #11 of the lawsuit.

“10. On or about January 11, 2017 at the Italy Police Department at least 5 people were crowded around a CITY OF ITALY computer consisting of Jason Cherry, Chief of Police (now former), Steven Farmer, Mayor (now former), Tina Long, Court Clerk, Amber Cunningham, city employee and Paul Sherrain, City Councilman, who were viewing the City of Italy police officer’s body camera footage from the night of the burglary at the Plaintiffs’ home. This footage was taken inside Plaintiffs’ home and the people on the footage consisted of the Plaintiffs and their daughter.”

“11. Thereafter, Amber Cunningham, a city employee and other unknown city employees obtained a copy of the said recording and disseminated it further in the CITY OF ITALY.”

“These people’s actions compromised the safety of our family,” Shelley Huskins said. “The police officer’s body camera footage that was disseminated was taken in a private residence and not depicting a crime,” she added.

A copy of the lawsuit is available. [Click here to view lawsuit]

“I cannot comment on the details of this specific lawsuit for legal reasons,” said Mayor Jackie Cate.

“However, I can comment on the process that the City of Italy follows in these situations. The City of Italy pays into a insurance policy every year. Texas Municipal League (TML) represents most all cities throughout the state. It is just like a insurance policy you would have on a home or car and you filed a claim against someone who was at fault in a vehicle accident.”

“The insurance company takes over and it is out of your hands. Once the City releases the claim to TML, they will appoint an attorney to that case. At that point, the claim becomes a insurance matter. Whatever happens from that point is between the insurance companies. Whether I agree or disagree with any lawsuit filed against the City of Italy, we have to use the system we have in place for these type of situations.”