New information has come out in the Donovon Lynch wrongful death case.
The 25-year-old was shot dead during a chaotic night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in March of 2021. His family is now battling the officer who killed him, and city of Virginia Beach in court.
According to court documents obtained by News 3, Federal judge Arenda Wright-Allen said the Lynch family has enough evidence to move forward with their claim that Virginia Beach police officer Solomon Simmons, who shot Lynch, was improperly trained, leading to his death.
The new order also states that complaints against the City of Virginia Beach, and Simmons ‘in his personal capacity’ will all move forward.
Part of the family's claims were dismissed though and those had to do with Simmons’ being tried in his ‘official capacity’ or role as an officer.
The judge said the decision to dismiss that part was because the claims are the same as bringing a suit against the city so the suit against Simmons as an officer, and the suit against the city would be redundant.
News 3 got a statement from Solomon Simmons' attorney:
"The court ruled on the city’s motion to dismiss. At this stage of the litigation the court must accept all of the factual allegations against the city and Mr. Simmons as true, and the opinion is based on those allegations. The real question is whether those allegations are true. We are confident that the evidence will demonstrate that the allegations on which the plaintiff’s case depends are not true."
A City of Virginia Beach representative also responded saying:
"The court has ruled that the allegations in the complaint, if proven at trial, are sufficient to support a claim against the City. Although we do not agree, the City acknowledges the court’s ruling and will move forward accordingly with defending the City's position at trial."
In her order, Judge Allen wrote about the night Lynch died, saying "an event of type that has plagued this country in recent memory."
The case now goes to trial as the Lynch family seeks $50 million in the wrongful death suit.
We're still waiting to hear back from the family’s attorney.