ShareThis Page

Western Psych victims to split $500,000 settlement from shooter's estate

| Monday, May 5, 2014, 4:57 p.m.

Victims of a shooting rampage at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland will split $500,000 from the dead gunman's estate, court records filed on Monday show.

John Shick, 30, of Oakland walked into Western Psych with two handguns on March 8, 2012, and opened fire, killing a therapist and wounding four others. Police shot and killed Shick.

Shick's $500,000 State Farm renter's insurance policy will pay the five victims or their families and three others who claimed emotional distress nearly $63,000 each, according to a letter from Mark J. Homyak to Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick. Homyak is the lawyer for Kathryn Leight, 66, of Shaler, a former Western Psych receptionist who survived a gunshot to the chest.

Wettick is expected to approve the settlement on Friday. The insurer in July dropped a lawsuit against the estate that argued the policy didn't cover Shick's actions.

The victims, including the family of Michael Schaab, 25, of Regent Square, who died during the shooting spree, sued Shick, his mother and the University of Pittsburgh for allowing the shooting to occur.

The settlement with Shick's estate has no impact on the other defendants.

Homyak called the $500,000 sum “inadequate.” Others involved in the suit could not be reached or did not return calls.

Wettick dropped claims against AM-GARD Security last month when research showed it had no involvement.

Shick, diagnosed as schizophrenic during involuntary commitments in New York and Oregon, began seeing doctors at UPMC's Shadyside Family Health Center in 2011 when he moved to Pittsburgh to begin graduate school at Duquesne University. The school expelled him in October 2011 and banned him from campus because he harassed female students.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.