Dakota Access Protester Injured in Blast Files Lawsuit

BISMARCK, N.D. — A New York woman who was injured while protesting Dakota Access pipeline has filed a lawsuit against several law enforcement officers and a North Dakota county.

Sophia Wilansky's left arm was injured by an explosion that occurred during a clash between protesters and police in November 2016. 

Her lawsuit, which seeks "millions of dollars" in damages, accuses an unnamed officer of launching an explosive that nearly severed her hand, requiring several surgeries. Officials maintain the explosion was caused by a propane canister that protesters rigged to explode.

The suit also accuses Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Tom Iverson of violating her constitutional rights and defamation, among other charges.

She is seeking "millions of dollars" in damages.

Wilansky lost an earlier legal battle for the return of shrapnel and clothing taken as evidence while she was hospitalized after the injury, or an opportunity to have the items analyzed by a forensic scientist of her hiring.

Although the evidence was willingly surrendered by her father, Wilansky's lawsuit argued in part that the government was keeping the seized property for an unreasonable length of time and violating her constitutional rights, but U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright ruled that "nothing in the written consent imposes a limitation on the length of time."

She also ruled that Wilansky did not provide evidence or argument that she could not commence a timely civil action without first gaining possession or access to the evidence.

- From Associated Press reports

Related News


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}