Rancher John Pappas said he will never forget the day he received the $50 million in compensation that his brother, an attorney, had offered him for the wrongful death of his daughter, Marissa.
It was April 2012.
Pappis, a prominent member of the Las Vegas community, was a member of a group that had sued the city for not compensating its own citizens who had died in the line of duty, saying the city had failed to act in a timely manner to investigate and solve the issue.
PAppas was one of the plaintiffs in the case, which the city settled in 2015 for $50.6 million.
The settlement also gave Pappases daughter, now 22-year-old Marissa, access to financial assistance, and to a scholarship that allowed her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in human development.
But when Papps daughter, who was also a former Las Vegas police officer, died in 2012, he felt like he’d lost a brother.
“I lost a friend, a brother, a mentor,” Pappans lawyer, Mike Zegaras, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2016.
“We just lost a partner in our lives, a husband, a father.”
Pappa said he still struggles with the aftermath of his loss, which he said he believes contributed to his downfall.
“It was an awful situation for me.
I went from a really strong and strong person to somebody who was just so emotional and had a very dark view of things,” he said.
“When my wife died, it was hard on my family, hard on our community.”
The lawsuit, filed in 2014, claimed that the city was negligent in failing to investigate Marissa’s death and in failing its own officers to pursue the cause of her death.
The city was also negligent in allowing Pappais daughter to be subjected to a wrongful death lawsuit in the first place.
“They didn’t do anything,” said Pappahs daughter, adding that it was “a complete failure of justice.”
Papps attorney said the city agreed to the settlement when he first brought the lawsuit.
“The city agreed with us and said that if we had a chance to bring it up again, we would,” said Zegas.
“But that didn’t happen.”
He said the settlement had no impact on the city’s policies, including the new $10-million compensation package that the province of Ontario offered to the victims of police shootings, in addition to the $5-million that the City of Calgary was promised when the lawsuit was filed.
“There is no effect on the City’s policies,” said Joe MacIsaac, the citys public works director.
“What I can say is, we are going to continue to look at all of our policies, and we will do everything we can to make sure they are in compliance with the law.”
PAPPAS RETURN TO THE TOP Pappasses lawyer said he hopes the settlement will be beneficial for the city, and he hopes it will result in a more proactive approach to police shootings.
“Our goal is that we don’t allow this to happen again, because it will be difficult for the victims to come forward,” he told The Globe and Mail.
“If we don�t do something now, there will be nothing we can do to help them.”
Zegars family is now in the process of moving into an apartment in Vancouver, where they hope to have children.
“Now is the time to take care of our family,” said his daughter.