Court: Army Not Liable in Shooting by Pennyslyvania Recruit

A federal appeals court says the Army isn’t liable for more than $1 million in medical bills for a Pittsburgh-area man paralyzed in a shooting by an unstable Army recruit.

Twenty-three-year-old Marty Armstrong Jr., of Springdale, is serving a 25- to 50-year sentence for shooting 55-year-old Michael Lahoff in a Pittsburgh parking garage. Armstrong and another man took $15 from Lahoff during the robbery.

An insurance company sued the Army saying Armstrong’s record of juvenile court and psychiatric problems made him unsuitable for military service. The company says the Army was partly to blame for the shooting because Armstrong inadvertently obtained the pistol he used as a result of his service.

The appeals court says the Army couldn’t have reasonably foreseen that Armstrong would rob someone.