Lawyer for family of fallen Las Vegas detective speaks out ahead of civil case

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 9:30 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The lawyer for the family of Detective Justin Terry, who was killed last June in a freak accident, spoke to FOX5 Wednesday about the family’s lawsuit against the people they see as responsible for Terry’s death.

The suit names Western States Contracting and Las Vegas Paving Corporation as liable for the accident, in which a 7,000 lb. metal beam fell onto Detective Terry’s car and killed him. The beam was knocked loose by a tractor-trailer that was driving in front of Terry.

Brian Panish, who represents the Terry family, says the truck was loaded higher than the legal limit.

“No vehicle with a load above 15 feet should be driving there because of the beams and what could happen,” Panish said. “Which actually did happen.”

The beam was there to warn drivers of the height of the overpass that was under construction on I-95 near Centennial Parkway. 15 feet is the federal standard minimum. Along with the beam were signs indicating the 15 feet height limit.

Panish also says the way the beam was set up was incorrect.

“We believe, after conducting our own independent investigation, that both parties will be held liable for what occurred,” he said.

The family is seeking damages beyond compensation for the loss of Detective Terry’s income.

“The largest part of the damages will be non-economic, or the real human losses that are suffered,” Panish said. “The loss of having a father or a husband for the rest of your life.”

Panish tells FOX5 he expects to be on trial within two years.

“We’ll never be able to bring him back,” he said. “It’s a tremendous loss. But at least they’ll have some closure and be able to move forward.”

FOX5 reached out to both companies listed as defendants. Las Vegas Paving Corporation said it would not comment on pending litigation.