Victims’ families: UAH trying to ‘price plaintiffs out of litigation’ | News
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- The families of two UAH shooting victims claim University Provost Dr. Vistasp Karbhari and the University of Alabama at Huntsville are resisting subpoenas and discovery requests filed in connection to the civil lawsuits.
The families of Dr. Maria Ragland Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson are suing Amy Bishop Anderson, Bishop Anderson's husband James Anderson, and Dr. Vistasp Karbhari. UAH cannot be named in the lawsuit and is considered a nonparty.
Bishop Anderson shot six colleagues during a biology department meeting at UAH in February 2010. Three of the victims died.
The victims' families requested documents from UAH as a part of this lawsuit. An attorney representing Dr. Karbhari and the university sent a letter back stating the estimated cost to provide the documents would cost between $1 million and $6.8 million.
They also subpoenaed all e-mail correspondence by and to Dr. Karbhari regarding Amy Bishop Anderson via University e-mail accounts.
UAH billed the Plaintiffs $2,056.25 for 8570 pages from Dr. Karbhari's e-mail.
After deposing Amy Bishop Anderson, attorneys from the families asked for phone records for Dr. Karbhari, former University President Dr. David Williams, and others including Dr. Debra Moriarity who witnessed the shootings. They also asked for security detail information for Dr. Karbhari and the University President. Attorneys say those records would substantiate statements made in Bishop Anderson's affidavit.
The attorney for UAH, who also represents Dr. Karbhari, initially objected to that request. Then told the victims' attorneys it would cost $5,000 to extract the data. The sorting costs would also have to be paid by the families. The cost for the call records would total $24,547.14.
Attorneys for the families of Dr. Davis and Dr. Johnson state they have "never encountered so absurd a demand, where a university hold relevant and important ransom, apparently seeking to price Plaintiffs out of the litigation".
The motion requests a judge order Dr. Karbhari and UAH to comply with these requests in a reasonable and cost-effective manner.
The court system has no record of a response yet from UAH or Dr. Karbhari.
Amy Bishop Anderson opened fire during a biology department meeting on February 12, 2010 at the Shelby Center on the UAH Campus.
Dr. Gopi Podila, Dr. Maria Ragland-Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson died from their injuries.
Dr. Luis Cruz Vera, Dr. Joseph Leahy, and Stephanie Monticciolo survived.
Police found the 9mm gun used in the shooting in a restroom in the Shelby Center.
Bishop Anderson was booked into the Huntsville-Madison County Metro Jail without bond.
The Criminal Case
In September 2012, Amy Bishop Anderson agreed to plead guilty to attempted murder and capital murder.
In Alabama, capital murder pleas must go before a jury. Amy Bishop Anderson's jury convicted her and sentenced her to life in prison without parole.
Amy Bishop Anderson is appealing that verdict and sentence. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has not ruled on that appeal.
She is serving her sentence at Tutwiler Women's Prison.
Seth Bishop's Murder
Bishop Anderson was also charged with the 1986 murder of her brother Seth Bishop.
That shooting happened at the Bishop family home in Braintree, Massachusetts.
The shooting was initially ruled accidental. After the UAH shootings the Norfolk, Massachusetts District Attorney ordered an inquest.
Following that inquest Bishop Anderson was indicted for her brother's murder.
The Norfolk District Attorney announced Bishop Anderson would not be tried for that murder since she received life in prison for the UAH shootings.
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