A no compensation ruling came down from a federal court in Colorado after a homeowner’s house was destroyed in a shootout between officers and their suspect.
Judges decided that no one owed homeowner Leo Lech anything for his house’s destruction, even though the suspect, who the SWAT team battled, was a complete stranger.
“The bottom line is that destroying somebody’s home and throwing them out in the street by a government agency for whatever circumstances is not acceptable in a civilized society. It destroyed our lives completely,” the homeowner said.
The demolition of the house itself must have looked like a war – reports saying the SWAT team used armored vehicles, tear gas, explosives, and 40 mm rounds to drive the suspect out. The house had been broken into and used as a hideout, but luckily, no one was home at the time.
The miracle, in this case, however, is that Lech’s home insurance company paid him a sum of $345,000 for all the damages, and while it did not cover everything, Lech’s attorney added that insurance rarely compensates such cases, giving an example with of the home next door, which suffered $70,000 in damage, but was not compensated.
“The Courts, both State and Federal who have analyzed this matter, have consistently ruled in favor of the police actions taken to resolve this critical incident. The Courts have recognized that while these types of events present difficult questions, the police should value life over property and may act pursuant to their police powers accordingly,” said Greenwood Village in a statement.
Homeowner Lech, however, doesn’t plan on giving up and intends on appealing to the Supreme Court.