Appeals court rejects UIW's motion to dismiss wrongful death lawsuit in Cameron Redus case

Photo of Michelle Casady

SAN ANTONIO — A wrongful death lawsuit pending against the University of the Incarnate Word can move forward after the 4th Court of Appeals released an opinion Wednesday denying the university's motion to have it dismissed.

The suit was brought in state district court by the family of Cameron Redus, a 23-year-old student who was fatally shot by a campus police officer in December 2013. 

Two weeks ago, Matthew Wymer, an attorney for UIW argued before the San Antonio-based 4th Court that while the university is a private institution, its police department is a public entity, which entitles it to protections outlined in state law, making it immune to such litigation under the Texas Tort Claims Act. 

Bent Perry, representing the Redus family, countered that the lawsuit is against UIW, not the police department. 

In the 14-page opinion released Wednesday morning, Justice Jason Pulliam wrote for the panel of three justices who heard the oral arguments.

"While UIW is granted limited power to employ peace officers, also given to public institutions, and this weighs in its favor, this power is separate and distinct from that granted to a public institution and when weighed in consideration of other factors, is not sufficient to pull UIW under the statutory definition of 'governmental unit."

More details will be added to this story as it develops.

Twitter: @MichelleCasady