Widow of fallen Federal Way officer settles suit with city

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by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 4 at 7:01 PM

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.—The widow of fallen Federal Way Police Officer Patrick Maher has reached a settlement with the city.

Renee Maher claimed the city of Federal Way failed to pay an insurance policy after her husband’s on-the-job death more than 10 years ago. She said filing suit was her only choice to get the justice her husband deserved.

Maher lost her husband Patrick, a Federal Way police officer, on August 2, 2003. He was responding to a fight between brothers when one of them got a hold of the officer’s gun and then shot and killed him.

”I remember all the color disappearing from the world,” said Renee Maher.

While the loss of her husband has been hard enough, she says it was made harder when she learned there was an insurance policy the City of Federal Way never paid her when he died.

”The people you think have your best interest at heart. Sometimes they don’t,” she said.

The City of Federal Way claims Officer Maher never signed up for the policy, but because it was required in order to work, Maher says it was the city’s responsibility to make sure he enrolled.

”For the city to try to blame their error on Patrick when he’s not here to defend himself, it’s wrong and that’s not a city honoring its fallen officers,” said Maher.

Maher knows her husband has been honored with a memorial in City Hall and an 11-mile procession more than 10 years ago, but she doesn’t believe honor should end there, especially for a man who sacrificed his life to service.

The city agreed to pay the policy amount of $87,000. Maher doesn’t feel that was enough considering her legal fees and the interest lost.

City of Federal Way officials says it’s unfortunate that this is a settlement Maher is not happy with, as they hoped they had a conclusion that would satisfy both sides.
 

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