The suit, which was filed by Trevor Webb's father, Scott E. Webb, representing his son's estate, was filed on the last day before the action would have been prohibited by the five-year statute of limitations.
Webb, 30, was stabbed at the Bykota Mobile Home Park and died later that day at Freeman West Hospital.
The man who stabbed him, Ryan Smith, Joplin, 21 at the time, was initially charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action, but under a plea agreement with the Newton County Prosecuting Attorney's office pleaded guilty to second degree murder and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Joplin attorney Steven A. Hays, claims Joplin police officers contributed to Webb's death when they pulled over the vehicle that was taking him to the hospital and caused a lengthy delay while Webb was bleeding from the multiple stab wounds that eventually took his life.
The four-count civil rights lawsuit alleges negligent supervision, failure to train and supervise, failure to attend to serious medical needs and failure to provide medical care while in custody.
Listed as defendants are the City of Joplin and police officers Keaton Burke, Trevor Duncan and "John Doe police officers whose identities are unknown at this time."
The petition details the events that led to Trevor Webb's death:
On February 22, 2015 in a community immediately east of Joplin, Missouri city limits Trevor S. Webb was stabbed in the in the upper mid chest and in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen by Ryan R. Smith.
After the stabbing event Trevor S. Webb entered a vehicle driving by Christian Ritter and proceeded towards a Joplin, Missouri hospital.
While driving to the hospital and in an anxious and excited state Christian Ritter called 911 reporting that his “friend” had been stabbed. While talking with the 911 operator Christian Ritter was confused as to where the hospital was located and requested assistance on what to do.
During Christian Ritter’s conversation with the 911 operator, another 911 operator dispatched City of Joplin police officers to the assumed location of Christian Ritter’s vehicle stating there was a stabbing victim within the vehicle.
After some dialog, the 911 operator informed Christian Ritter that he must pull his vehicle over and allow Joplin police officers to assist him.
Following the direction of the 911 dispatcher and having observed police lights behind him, Christian Ritter pulled his vehicle over at or near the intersection of East 32nd Street and South Minnesota Avenue.
Immediately thereafter at 08:06 a.m., Officer Keaton Burke, (hereinafter Officer Burke), came upon Christian Ritter’s vehicle and pulled behind it. Christian Ritter exited his vehicle and began walking back towards Officer Burke waving his arms.
Officer Burke called for “Code 2” and drew his firearm from its holster and placed it into a low ready position. Officer Burke then gave verbal commands to Christian Ritter to sit down on the side walk. Christian Ritter complied.
Officer Burke observed a baggie containing what appeared to be a green leafy substance fall out of the vehicle when Christian Ritter exited.
Christian Ritter pleaded for Officer Burke to assist his friend “Tony” (Trevor S. Webb was known to Christian Ritter as Tony) because he had been stabbed multiple times.
After securing Christian Ritter on the curb, Officer Burke proceeded to the vehicle Trevor S. Webb was in and observed a black male in the front passenger seat clearly in distress.
Trevor S. Webb’s head was nearly to the driver’s seat angled towards the door and a large amount of blood was coming from his torso area.
Only at that moment did Officer Burke request a METS ambulance to run lights and sirens to Officer Burke’s location.
Sergeant Trevor Duncan, (hereinafter Sgt. Duncan), arrived on scene and announced the ambulance had arrived.
After immediate assessment, Trevor S. Webb was placed into the ambulance and transported to Freeman Hospital arriving at 08:21 a.m. After initial emergency care, Trevor S. Webb had a return of circulation and was taken to the operating room by general surgeon Dr. Alan M. Buchele.
While in the operating room, after additional emergency and surgical care, Trevor S. Webb was pronounced dead at 09:19 a.m.