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$500,000 Recovery for Estate of Mentally Ill Woman Killed by Police

After attorney Robert Levant rested on behalf of the Estate of Reora Askew, the City of Philadelphia elected to settle the case for $500,000 rather than present a defense to a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Jury. During the trial, Levant presented evidence that Ms. Askew suffered from severe mental illness. Police approached Ms. Askew after she had an argument with another passenger on a SEPTA bus around 1 a.m. Police surrounded Ms. Askew who was holding a kitchen knife. Police Officer Thomas Ohm opened fire striking Ms. Askew multiple times. Levant called a pathologist as an expert witness to establish that Ms. Askew was shot in the back before she was shot in the chest proving that she was turning to walk away from the officer when he shot her. Shortly after the expert witness testified, the City agreed to the settlement.