SALT LAKE CITY — A new lawyer representing the mother of Darrien Hunt claims she never agreed to any settlement offered by Saratoga Springs for her son’s death at the hands of two police officers.
In a filing in federal court on Tuesday, Susan Hunt’s attorney said she considered a $900,000 settlement offered by Saratoga Springs to be “an insult compared to her injury.” Rather, they accused her former attorney, Robert Sykes, of agreeing to it without her consent.
“Susan Hunt never settled the case. She never confirmed, directed, or consented to a settlement amount with Sykes,” her attorney, Paul Lydolph, wrote. “Susan Hunt never agreed or signed any document accepting a settlement offer from Defendants. She never gave actual, apparent, or express authority to Sykes to accept any particular amount from Defendants. She never gave up her right to consent to a settlement, or authorized a party or counsel to accept a settlement on her behalf. For that matter, Susan Hunt never ratified any settlement amount by her words or conduct. At all relevant times during the course of this case, Susan Hunt was under the belief that the matter was going to be tried instead of settled.”
Lydolph is responding to a motion filed by Saratoga Springs that asks a federal judge to enforce a settlement it claims was agreed upon by all parties. Hunt fired Sykes as her attorney. Sykes told FOX 13 he has done nothing wrong and filed his own lien seeking payment for his legal services.
“Everything that we did in that case was done ethically, competently, completely and with full disclosure and with full agreement,” he said Wednesday night. “I did not settle that case without the client’s approval.”
Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot and killed by two Saratoga Springs police officers in September 2014. He was shot six times in the back. Police claimed he presented a threat as he was carrying a samurai-type sword. His family said he was dressed in an anime costume, the sword was a fake and was no threat.
The Utah County Attorney’s Office declared the shooting legally justified. The Hunt family filed a $2 million lawsuit against Saratoga Springs and the officers who shot Darrien.
Read the filing here: