Bob Hilliard and Steve Shadowen, principals at Texas law firm Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP, and Hilliard Shadowen, LLP win a historic civil rights victory for the family of a 15-year-old boy killed by United States Border Patrol agents in El Paso. In a ruling today by the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the court rejected the Border Patrol's claim of immunity for its agents who fired the fatal shots across the border into Mexico.
WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT DISMISSED
Hilliard pursued a wrongful-death lawsuit for the parents of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, who was shot in the face by a Border Patrol agent. The teenager was standing on Mexican soil when he was killed. An El Paso Judge dismissed the suit on the grounds that Hernandez was not killed in the United States and was not entitled to relief under the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney Bob Hilliard says this is the first step in achieving justice for Hernandez's murder:
- "Today's decision is a resounding victory for the rule of law and for common human decency. No family should have to suffer as Sergio's has, with no ability to have a court of law review the legitimacy of what appears from several video tapes to be an entirely unjustified killing of their teenage son."
- "In the history of the U.S. for the first time, the Courts have recognized the 5th amendment rights of a non-U.S. citizen to be free from 'gross physical abuse by federal
- lawenforcement agents located in the United States based on their 'conscious shocking, excessive use of force across our nations' borders."
- "Human rights belong to everyone. Not just American citizens."
- This decision gives every non-U.S. citizen the comfort of knowing they will not be subject to being murdered in cold blood while standing in their home country."
- "Nothing can bring Sergio back, but I know that a full and open court review of this shooting will bring the family some measure of comfort. We and Sergio's family very much look forward to that comprehensive review."
- "The importance and significance of this ruling cannot be overstated."
VICTIM'S FAMILY STILL MOURNS SONS DEATH
Maria Guadalupe Guereca Bentacour spoke with attorneys immediately after the judge's gave their ruling:
"I am happy that the claims against the Agent, the man who shot and killed my son, survived. I look forward to going to Court and having the United States judicial system bring justice to this tragedy."
Hilliard has filed two federal lawsuits against the federal border patrol agency as a result of the wrongful shooting deaths of Mexican citizens. He currently represents five families who have suffered wrongful border shootings resulting in the deaths of innocent Mexican Nationals.
ABOUT HILLIARD SHADOWEN http://www.hilliardshadowenlaw.com
Hilliard Shadowen LLC specializes in complex cases involving economic and social justice. Bob Hilliard and Steve Shadowen founded the firm in January 2012 to achieve a mutual goal: establish a team of experienced, resolute attorneys dedicated to the pursuit of social justice for each client.
ABOUT HMG http://www.hmglawfirm.com
Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP (HMG) specializes in mass torts, personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP has been successfully representing clients in the United States and Mexico since 1986. Bob Hilliard obtained the Largest Verdict in the country in 2012 and the #1 verdict in Texas in 2013.