Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in UAH 2010 Shooting

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over a shooting rampage at the University of Alabama in Huntsville that killed three staff members and wounded three others in 2010.

On February 12, 2010, Amy Bishop, a biology professor who was distraught over being denied tenure at UAH, went to a meeting room in the biology department and opened fire, killing three biology department colleagues and wounding three others.

In September, Bishop pleaded guilty to the crime and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The lawsuit against Bishop, her husband James Anderson, and UAH Provost Vistasp Karbhari, was filed by the families of Dr. Maria Ragland Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson, two of the three professors killed in the shooting rampage.  The lawsuit alleges that when top university officials heard that Bishop was on her way to meet them to discuss her tenure denial, they fled the administration building under police protection.

Bishop spoke with a colleague, Dr. Debra Moriarity, of both her distress and desire to speak with UAH leaders over the tenure denial saying, “They act like I’m going to walk in and shoot somebody.”  Moriarity did not alert the university of this conversation as she felt it was just a “figure of speech” by Bishop.

The lawsuit alleges that if Moriarity had followed university policy and alerted officials to her distraught colleague’s remark, Bishop would have been approached for counseling, a background criminal check would have been conducted, and other measures taken as well that may have calmed the distressed professor and thus prevented the shooting.

As part of the plea agreement she accepted, Bishop waived her right to appeal; however, Bishop later told the court she would appeal her sentence.  Bishop’s deadline for filing her appeal is February 4.

Original story can be found here.