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Widow of Glenn Rightsell takes steps to file wrongful death lawsuit against ISP, doctor

Gloria Rightsell filed a tort claim with the state to seek wrongful death damages.

Posted: May 30, 2019 5:28 AM
Updated: May 30, 2019 6:55 AM

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The widow of man fatally shot by an Indiana State Police trooper in December has taken a step toward filing a lawsuit against the agency. Gloria Rightsell filed a tort claim with the state to seek wrongful death damages.

She also filed for damages against the doctor and hospital that treated her husband. 

Glenn Rightsell, 56, was shot and killed by a police trooper while fixing his daughter's car on U.S 231 in Montgomery County in December. The trooper, Daniel Organ, says when Rightsell turned around, it looked like he was moving to draw his weapon.

In March, the Montgomery County prosecutor's office determined there wasn't evidence to prove Organ was not acting in self defense. No charges were filed.

"Any time someone dies as a result of police action, hard questions need to be asked and an appropriate investigation needs to be done," said Montgomery County Prosecutor Joseph Buser.

"Sufficient evidence exists that Mr. Organ was subjectively in fear of death or serious bodily injury and that he honestly believed a gun was being drawn to shoot him," said the conclusion from Buser. "From the facts and circumstances known to Mr. Organ at the time of the shooting, there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Organ's actions were not objectively reasonable. The State cannot disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. This Office concludes that the State of Indiana will not file criminal charges against Daniel Organ."

Related: Complete Glenn Rightsell death investigation

Gloria Rightsell told News 18 in March that she was not shocked about the Montgomery County Prosecutor's decision to not file charges against Organ.

"We will never know Glenn's side because Glenn's not here to tell it," Gloria Rightsell told News 18 in March.

State police have 90 days to respond to the filing. We intend to follow up on this lawsuit as it progresses.

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