Judge Tosses Judgment in Springfield Man's Death
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A Greene County judge has thrown out a civil judgment against the widow of a Springfield attorney and book collector whose murder has never been solved.
Although no one has been charged in Rolland Comstock's July 2007 shooting death, his daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that her mother, Alberta Comstock, was responsible for the death. In July, a Greene County jury found Alberta Comstock liable and entered a $125,000 judgment against her.
On Wednesday, Greene County Circuit Judge Michael Cordonnier entered an order voiding the judgment. He sided with Alberta Comstock's attorney, who had argued the jury's verdict was "so inconsistent as to be self-destructive."
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Cordonnier cited case law barring punitive awards when no actual damages are assessed.