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Suit filed in fatal shooting alleges reckless negligence, seeks $1 million


A fatal hunting accident in Westminster last spring has resulted in a million-dollar civil lawsuit.

Joann O. and Edward W. Malinowski of Westminster filed their complaint in Circuit Court on Monday, claiming that John Lawrence Hall Jr.'s reckless negligence March 5 caused the death of their son, Scott Edward Malinowski.

According to police reports, Mr. Hall, 21, was shooting at targets on Blue Heron Road with Scott Malinowski when the .22-caliber long rifle he was loading accidentally discharged.

Mr. Malinowski, 21, was shot in the upper abdomen. Mr. Malinowski, of Tannery Road in Westminster, died nearly two hours later after being flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

State police investigated the incident and decided not to file charges against Mr. Hall after meeting with members of the Carroll County state's attorney's office last spring, said 1st Sgt. Thomas Long. Sergeant Long said police and prosecutors found that the shooting was accidental.

In their suit, the Malinowskis claim that Mr. Hall, who lives on Royal Avenue in Hampstead, was careless and reckless in handling his rifle, including failing to use the safety on the weapon while loading it. The Malinowskis "have suffered intense sorrow, grief and mental suffering in the past and will continue in the future," the complaint said.

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