Revolution

Waco Survivors Sue U.S.

After the disastrous 1993 ATF and FBI assault on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, Davidians and their survivors filed a civil suit against the federal government.

The Davidians sued in February 1995 for $63.5 million, claiming the government intended to kill them and "calculatedly destroyed the compound and everything in it." The suit was one of nearly a dozen civil lawsuits filed by both federal agents and Davidians.

In June 1997, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Davidians' requests that Judge Walter Smith, who presided over the criminal case against eleven Branch Davidians, be removed from the case.

In August 2000, an "advisory jury" in the case found that the government was not negligent in its handling of the incident, and in September 2000, Smith ruled against the Davidians.

On July 15, 2003, a federal appeals court rejected the survivors' appeal of that decision.


Sources: February 1995 Associated Press article, "Waco survivors sue U.S.," and July 15, 2003, Associated Press article, "Court rejects Davidian claim against U.S."