County, former deputies, Washington Counties Risk Pool reach settlement with Clyde Spencer

County will pay $5.25 million of $6 million settlement

VANCOUVER — Clark County, the Washington Counties Risk Pool and the parties of Spencer et. al v. Peters et. al have reached a settlement to fully and finally resolve all litigation and related claims. Under the settlement, Clark County and the risk pool jointly will pay Clyde Ray Spencer $6 million to resolve his claims and a related insurance coverage dispute.

Clark County has agreed to pay $5.25 million of the settlement, avoiding protracted and uncertain collection litigation arising from a 2014 jury verdict against two retired Clark County deputy sheriffs.

The now-settled lawsuit arose from Spencer’s claim that he was wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 20 years because of conduct by former Sheriff’s Detective Sharon Krause and former Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Davidson. A judge dismissed Clark County from the case in November 2012, finding no evidence of wrongdoing by the county and no evidence that Krause and Davidson’s alleged conduct arose from any county policy, practice or custom.

The case went to trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma in February 2014, and a jury returned a $9 million verdict in favor of Spencer. He later sought an order requiring Clark County, as the deputies’ employer, to pay both the verdict and approximately $3 million in attorney fees and costs.

As a result of the settlement, all parties have dismissed and/or released all claims they might have against one another.

Information provided by Clark County Communications.

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